West on Allen brings matchup intrigue

By John Schuhmann, NBA.com


VIDEO: The Starters: Heat-Pacers Game 1 Breakdown

INDIANAPOLIS – The Eastern Conference finals series between the Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat is a fascinating matchup, through and through.

At its core, it’s size vs. spacing. And that contrast came to a head in Game 1 when David West was chasing Ray Allen for most of the fourth quarter.

The Heat were playing small, looking to space the floor with a lineup of Mario Chalmers, Allen, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh. The Pacers were staying true to their big-and-bruising identity, playing West and Roy Hibbert up front. And because they wanted to keep Paul George on James, West had to defend a guard.

The results were OK. According to SportVU, West defended Allen for 2:19 in Game 1. It was a couple of possessions in the second period and much of the fourth, but the 2:19 is just time that the Heat had the ball in the frontcourt.

Allen touched the ball just five times in that 2:19. And he shot 2-for-4 (1-for-3 from 3-point range). The matchup didn’t swing the game either way, because the Pacers had an 11-point lead when West checked in in the fourth period, and the Heat never got any closer than that.

Some notes on a few of the possessions in which West and Allen matched up …

We’re not going to see large doses of this matchup. West is a starter for Indiana, Allen comes off the bench for Miami, and the right players have to be on the floor for the situation to call for it.

“He can’t do it for 48 minutes,” Pacers coach Frank Vogel said of West chasing around one of the best shooters in NBA history. “But we’ll change matchups. We’ll just put him on whomever we need to put him on. He’s prepared to guard any of their small guys. A lot of times, we’ll let him decide who he wants to guard.”

But Vogel certainly isn’t afraid of the situation. He’d rather go big vs. small than compromise his team’s identity.

Asked what he liked about the matchup, Vogel said, “We kept our rotation intact and we stayed who we are, which, I think, strengthens us.”

Allen thought the Heat could have done more with the matchup in Game 1, but he knows things might be different in a high-leverage situation. Because Allen plays more minutes in the fourth quarter than in any other period, that’s when we’re most likely to see him being defended by West.

And Allen would like to see if West can keep up with him with the game on the line.

“We have yet to really take advantage of it,” he said after practice Monday. “We were down double-digit points by the time he did start chasing me. It’ll be interesting in a tight situation, if it’s a one or two-point game, if they try that.”

28 Comments

  1. Truth says:

    @JASON, I’m wrong wait till after Game 6 you realize who has common sense because I’m truth and my name is truth. TRUTH!!!!

  2. squala96 says:

    Ray Allen only needs 27 more three-pointers to make it to 3,000 career total. Go Jesus Shuttlesworth!

  3. wad says:

    Heat will win this series !! see how they wiil respond tonight . They know how to approach games . Let go Heat!

  4. RON says:

    I believe in the Heat. For the simple fact that they are battle tested. They know how to win in the long run. “The race is not to the swift nor the battle to the strong….but to them that endure to the end.”

  5. rechie says:

    Dear NBa,

    you know what to do’

    SPURS VS HEAT in the finals

    sincerely

    NBA FAN

  6. Jr. Samples says:

    Pacers could lose the next two games. They only seem to play with their backs against the wall. If they played everynight to their potential no one could beat them.

  7. ,jsdnckjasd says:

    I seriously love defensive minded teams like the Pacers and Bulls than the explosive offensive teams like OKC and LAC

  8. standard says:

    clasic heat bandwagons
    who cares if you watch the finals
    this is NBA no a TV rating match

  9. yolo123 says:

    How are the pacers boring to watch? when they destroy a good team like the heat?

  10. Miami Heat Fan says:

    It will be Spurs vs Heat on FINALS..REMATCH!

    • GREGORY INGRAM says:

      Yeah but this time the Spurs win because this time we got home court advantage!!!

      v/r

      Greg

  11. Heat2win says:

    Miami Heat has the strongest fan base outside USA..Not interested in watching boring finals of Indiana against whatever .. Go Heat!!

    • GREGORY INGRAM says:

      How can you say that when last year in game six of the Finals all the Heat fans went to the exits thinking the game was over and then tried to run back in when Ray(ring chasing) Allen made that 3 pointer?

      v/r

      Greg

  12. Uncle Tom says:

    Not too many people can chase Allen around the court. He is like a lizard.

  13. Nozella says:

    #trueStory

  14. CLIFF says:

    Spurs vs Indiana would be a very boring finals!!! I ain’t watching that..

    • GREGORY INGRAM says:

      WOW! one fan not watching the Finals thats really going to hurt the ratings!

      v/r

      Greg

  15. okcDoke2014 says:

    And Spurs, Pacers vs. Spurs would be an awesome matchup !!!!

  16. okcDoke2014 says:

    Pacers vs. Spurs for sure

  17. okc2014 says:

    I wish the Pacers win this series.

    • okcDoke2014 says:

      And Spurs

    • NBAfan says:

      There are only two types of NBA fans right now: Heat fans and those who wish the Heat gets beaten by anybody.

      The Heat is the most polarizing thing in the NBA since Kobe Bryant…

      • qqq says:

        im not a heat fan, but I hope they win the series, just because Indiana are very boring to watch.

        Okc/spurs finals vs heat would be much more entertaining than Indiana`s slowpaced offense.

      • GREGORY INGRAM says:

        The Heat is a team that was put together by money and greed, and not built, and once again last year the Heat fans will always be remembered in game 6 of the finals walking out on thier team thinking the game was over and then Ray Allen hit the 3 pointer and then the fans tried to run back in, did you forget about that? well if you did I just remineded you.

        v/r

        Greg.

    • Truth says:

      That is what you wish, but it will not be true really sorry. Common sense here is Heat in 6.

      • Jason says:

        ‘Common sense’ is both teams leading their series will move on, so my ‘common sense’ says you’re wrong.