Blogtable: The script for Indy-Miami

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes across the globe to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.


BLOGTABLE: OKC’s next move | Listen up, Kev | Indy-Miami snapshot



VIDEO: GameTime looks ahead at Saturday’s Game 3 between the Pacers and Heat

> Is this the Indy-Miami series you expected so far? Surprises? Disappointments?

Steve Aschburner, NBA.com: Yes, yes it is. Even if both teams had finished the regular season stronger – say, Indiana winding up 64-18, Miami 62-20 – and the Pacers had breezed rather than struggled through Atlanta and Washington in the first two rounds, I think we’d be right where we are now. Indiana scarcely could have played better than in Game 1, even as Miami was scoring 96 in a loss. Defense figured to tighten up in Game 2 and it did, and Miami snatching that one late was just the sort of thing two-time defending champions are wont to do. No surprises, one disappointment: It would have been extremely interesting to see Miami go down 2-0, to see the Heat dig even deeper (they’ve never faced such a deficit in a playoff series) and to see the Pacers handle the heady success. Now, though, I’ll be disappointed if we don’t get a split of G3-4 in Miami. This one got penciled in as a six-gamer, better yet seven-gamer, way back in October, and 2-2 is the best, most tension-building way to get there.

Fran Blinebury, NBA.com: The Eastern Conference finals went to Game 7 a year ago and, despite the roller coaster ride that the Pacers have been on in recent months, that’s where I still think we’re headed now. On one hand, Indiana could have and should have taken a 2-0 lead last night.  But when your star, Paul George, starts out 1-for-11 and finishes 4-for-16, that’s probably not what you deserve. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade showed they still can be the two-headed monster and now the series is on. I expect another split in Miami as we continue on to Game 7.

Jeff Caplan, NBA.comThis is definitely the series we expected before the Pacers practically fell off the earth and drowned in their own sorrows. I think we’re seeing where Indy can exploit the Heat and then just how resilient and tough LeBron James is and will be as he goes for the threepeat with a team that isn’t quite as good as its predecessors.

John Schuhmann, NBA.comIf the Pacers’ offensive performance in Game 1 didn’t surprise you, then you haven’t watched them since late February. Dwyane Wade’s continued resurgence and LeBron James’ awful defense have also been noteworthy. But overall, 1-1, with Miami in control, is not a surprise. This is obviously not the best version of the Heat, but they can get the job done when they absolutely need to … against Eastern Conference opponents, at least.

Sekou Smith, NBA.com: It’s absolutely what I expected, complete with the 1-1 split after the first two games. The Pacers were built for this, to battle the Heat. And I expect we’ll see six or seven close games between them. So no, I was not surprised that the Pacers did not play as well as they did in Game 1. And I certainly was not surprised the Heat rebounded the way they did in Game 2 (there’s something about never going down 2-0 in a series in the Big 3 era that gave me comfort). I am a little disappointed that Chris Bosh has not figured things out against the Pacers yet, after so many matchups against them you’d think he’d have come up with a counter-punch by now. But the Heat will live with the results, as they did in Game 2, when they do the Big 2 (LeBron James-Dwyane Wade) routine instead of the Big 3.

Lang Whitaker, NBA.com All Ball Blog: It’s exactly what I suspected, which is to say I have learned never to suspect anything with the Pacers involved. That said, after Indiana’s terrific Game 1, I would not be shocked to see the Heat win four straight. They already won Game 2, and now they go home to Miami. I think the key for Miami isn’t so much getting scoring from their bench players as it is defending Indiana and forcing them out of their offensive game. The Pacers have looked brutal at times on offense, and if Miami can keep them around 80-90 per night, they should be able to win the series. Winning the next three in a row might be a bit aspirational, but at this point, I don’t think anyone knows what the Pacers are going to do.

32 Comments

  1. Dlee says:

    Hey steve, if u say that pacers breeze tru first round which was against atlanta n it went to game 7. What would you call it since miami beat bobcats and nets? Please correct your statement when you said that pacers breeze tru 1st n 2nd round because to my knowledge thats not breeze tru. GO MIAMI HEATS, BEAT PACER!!! MIAMI GOT ALOT OF FANS HERE IN BELIZE CITY CENTRAL AMERICA.

  2. FUTURECELTIC says:

    okctofinals is drunk. OKC is down 2-0, so you leave your series and comment on another series lol drunk

  3. Rhedz03 says:

    Heat will get indy game 5-6..And will surely face Spurs again, Spurs are more hungrier than last season so it will be harder this time for the champs…If Bosh figures out how to defend duncan or splitter then it’s good..Haslem if healthy can be a big help in defending splitter and duncan aswell…Lebron is a no brainer againts leonard…Both of them can’t defend each other so its a matter of who misses on those slashes and fastbreak points. Allen will be a big factor again and so as battier if he can defend leonard aswell which is what his good for. Parker will be the one big problem for the heat..If wade can be health then it’s all good…But still no one in the heat line up can guard parker..So lets hope he misses..Green is a time bomb…But with a quick guard to always stay ahead or infront of him will be the answer to his 3 point barrage.

    Inshort..Heat big men must do a good job defending the paint againts, duncan, splitter and parker…Spurs relay mostly on pick and rolls…post ups and 3’s. Beastley, andersen and oden must work harder in scoring and defending the perimeter.

    All in all game 7 for the heat.

  4. Miles10 says:

    One thing I have learned about media opinions: DONT BELIEVE ANYTHING THEY SAY! Lol. They say this and that, and they keep guessing wrong over and over again. Miami was supposed to lose in the Finals last year, remember? Who could tell now which team has upper hand on this series then. Many guys are saying the Heat are playing just enough to win games, Pacers going inconsistent, Spurs becoming a big bully, OKC in terrible situation (wait, is Ibaka the league’s MVP, so why put him the reason behind OKC’s 0-2?). One sure thing is – when one plays bad game, another should step up, coz if nobody does, then they fail.

  5. bitchplease says:

    You people, both the ones that write these articles and the ones that write the comments are so ridicilious. Indiana won the first game then ya’ll were yellng that whoever wins game one is most likely going to win the series, especially considering Indiana has the home court advantage for a possible Game 7, Miami won the next game and now all of you are like – The Heat got this! I think the both teams are playing great basketball, althought I was kind of dissapointed of the Pacers early playoff run, considering what they have used to do in the playoffs. You also tend to forget that the Pacers actually have won at Miami during the regular season, and yes that doesn’t matter, but since you put it all about Miami at home.. Pacers still have a shot, didn’t they also took Miami to 7 games last season?

    On the other side, I do not think the Heat will 3peat, they are a good team and all but lets be real here.. Indiana are no less motivated to get there than Miami, and even if Miami get there it will be their fourth straight appereance on the NBA finals comming off a back-to-back, that’s quite the stretch even for LeBron. The way I see it (If the Spurs get there again):
    If:
    ; The Spurs face Indiana – Indianas slow offence will help the Spurs keep their fatigue and keep playing great basketball, which is a sure win for San Antonio if you ask me, unless PG, Lance and Hibbert pull out something amazing (and they have the talent to do so)..
    ; The Spurs face Miami – I do not think that San Antonio, now even deeper and more motivated to beat Miami will let this one slip, they have been fighting for this for a long time and I honestly believe that it is about time to get what they -deserve-.

    #SpursWinItAllNoMatherTheEast

  6. mrkeyman says:

    LESS Competition in the EAST is helping the HEAT win a TITLE…if they reside int he WEST they wont win title

    • Another Heat Fan says:

      Oh relax it’s not like the spurs have hard competition facing OKC without serge ibaka. That OKC team is easier to beat than the Pacers.

      And it’s the playoffs, you are still going by season standings but teams play much different than their season standings.

      It’s going to be an interesting finals no matter who makes it.

  7. iamironman says:

    Heat got this. Home court doesn’t matter much for champions. Heat can only get better as the series goes on. Heat in 5. Rub it in Pacers’ faces

  8. Average Joe says:

    “This is obviously not the best version of the Heat, but they can get the job done when they absolutely need to … against Eastern Conference opponents, at least.” Yes, John Schuhmann! The world is right again!

    • iamironman says:

      John Schuhmann is a real Heat hater. I just laugh at his hateful posts

      • alex_03 says:

        he’s not even looking at the game..lbj had great defense on that game 2, van gundy even credited lbj bout it for stripping a lot of balls.

      • when it needed most says:

        lbj’s defense isn’t so great in first 3 quarters, but he saved it for the fourth.

  9. Game Time says:

    Pacers have been horrible on the road so far in the playoffs and Miami isn’t like the Wiz or Hawks so if Indy continues to have low scoring games they will be going back home down 3-1.

    • jonesy says:

      gametime what do you mean ‘horrible on the road’?? The only reason they got over the hawks and the wiz was because of their road play!

      • Drew says:

        completely agreed. Indiana struggled big time at home. they were pretty decent on the road.

    • richard says:

      are serious? hahaha pacers had been horrible on the road this playoffs? let me give you some facts. in the opening series Indiana won 2 at home and 2 away. so that’s 2/3 at atl.. in the second series againts the wizards the indiana pacers won 3/3 in Dc. so is that horrible? get your facts right dude.

  10. Blog-So-Hard-2014-NBA-Playoff-Edition says:

    Pacers need more bench scoring..!!!!

  11. okctofinals says:

    You have to be a total moron (or radical Pacers fan) to say you wish Miami would have gone down 0-2 so you could see how they’d respond. What type of stupid logic is that? About the same type of logic that has you speculating if each team had finished stronger and then add an imaginary win/loss stat to make your point. Go home, Steve. You’re drunk.

  12. LBJKIN6JAMES says:

    the heat will win both games at home, they will close games… not blowouts, but nonetheless, the heat will go back to Indiana up 3-1 with a chance to close it out in front of Indiana’s fans.

  13. taekayo says:

    IND’s game 1 is a must win, or its over if MIA won than game. As expected, the champs came back.

    MIA most likely on game 3… IND can get game 4 and and should win 5. If they couldn’t close game 6, MIA wins the series. Even with the homecourt advantage, the chances are still against IND. They’re fighting the champs after all. Winning 3 straight games (even two) would be very difficult. The best strategy they can have is win every other game, and hope they have the needed gas for a game 7 win.

  14. Brian says:

    No comment from the league regarding Wade’s INTENTIONAL knee to George’s head, look at Wade’s eyes he’s looking at George and not even attempting to play the ball.

    • TMac says:

      Yep, Wade is going to intentional bang up his bad knee some more just for giggles. Stop it.

    • Pakyaw says:

      Intentional, lol!. I didn’t know wade is a Kung fu master..

    • Average Joe says:

      Yeah, he was trying to find the hardest part of George’s head to stick his bum knee into and cause more problems for the Heat than the stunt will solve. Get real man. George fell down. Wade fell after him. He was looking at George so he can avoid hitting his knee on something but unfortunately it did. When you fall on somebody, you don’t really know where he’s gonna go except down. Which means you can’t really give a good approximate of where his head or torso or arm is gonna be. Sometimes you’re gonna hit something and sometimes not. Don’t try to pin this on Wade as if he did it on purpose because it wouldn’t make sense.

  15. Carlo says:

    I think Indiana missed a very BIG chance in game2. Despite the awful D played by Miami – expecially by LBJ – and Hibbert seeing more rebs than in all his previous career, they weren’t able to exploit it, missing more shots than they took.
    I’m afraid this series will end “Miami in 6″.

  16. jdub455 says:

    Heat by 5 or 6 at the most… Miami supporting cast played really bad the 1st game… Indy played the same for both games… I wouldn’t be surprise this series going, 3-1. 3-2, then 4-2… The team that will be the threat is the Spurs… damn ibaka’s injury…. OKC wud had have a chance if it were not for his injury

  17. Jace Roque says:

    Bosh is terrible.

    • TMac says:

      No, he isn’t…he just struggles when they play the Pacers for some reason.

      • Jace Roque says:

        Yes he’s good. real good. but he cant match well with other big men. duncan ate him alive last season. I know he’s good. But he needs to be better,

    • LBJthaking!!!! says:

      Lol Miami will cruise back. Every team has had bad games this playoffs. Even spurs almost lost to Dallas!! Go Lebron!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He will b a beast

  18. If Miami can pull out game 3 and take the lead in this series that’ll take the pressure off of them for game 4 and 5. Miami doesn’t lose many back to backs in the playoffs and has one their last 11 following a lost…so taking a 2-1 lead will put them in the drivers seat for game 5 if they were to lose game 4. Indiana can beat at home so I don’t think Miami stresses so much about home court adavantage, just staying ahead in the series.