This is one of those rare occasions where yours truly gets to toot his own horn so rather than just tap the horn and I’m going to lay on it like an impatient senior citizen at the Wal-Mart Pharmacy Drive-Thru. I told you when this series started that it was going to go seven games and after Indiana’s 91-77 win in game six last night that is exactly where we are headed. What I won’t be in any hurry to mention of course is the fact I had Memphis beating San Antonio in six games so let’s move on shall we?
If the Miami Heat are going to advance to the NBA Finals for the third straight season then it will be on the back of LeBron James. It has become crystal clear that Dwyane Wade is not 100% and Chris Bosh really isn’t either and they are both struggling as a result. There is certainly an argument to be made that no one is “100%” at this point in the season but Wade and Bosh are both far from it.
James went for his typical 29 points, seven rebounds and six assists but he had absolutely no help from his teammates. Wade, Bosh and Mario Chalmers combined to score 25 points on seven of 27 shooting from the floor. That just isn’t going to get it done period whether it’s the playoffs or a regular season game in Charlotte. Well, OK, maybe in Charlotte, but you know what I mean.
The Pacers meanwhile went into the contest with a less than 100% David West who was struggling with a respiratory infection. It showed in the first half as he was zero for seven but rebounded nicely to make five of seven in the second half. That was the perfect compliment to Roy Hibbert (24 and 11) and Paul George who had 28 points, eight rebounds and five assists.
George benefited from having Wade on him at some rather interesting points in the game rather than James who went down low to battle the bigs more often than usual.
So what can we expect in game seven? For starters, I’m not jumping off the Heat’s bandwagon simply because of the Pacers’ beat-down of them last night. Miami has often proved resilient in their time with LeBron on the floor and I’m confident the proper adjustments will be made to limit both George and Hibbert offensively.
James cannot do it by himself however. Someone will have to step it up whether it be Bosh or Wade or Norris Cole or Udonis Haslem. Someone has to chip in with an 18-22 point game or the Heat will struggle to break 80.
For those of you believing David Stern would never let Miami lose a game seven because of the TV ratings bonanza that would collapse with a San Antonio-Indiana Finals I tend to agree. I’m not suggesting I have a tin-foil hat on but let’s be real too. The NBA is a business so look for the calls to mostly go Miami’s way.
A Comment on Roy Hibbert’s Comments…. Last night in his post game press conference, Roy Hibbert used a gay slur and then called the media a bunch of MF’ers because they don’t really know anything about this team. Shame on Hibbert for using the gay slur. It was wrong and he knew it and he also didn’t need to swear at the media because everything he said was accurate. His team isn’t on national TV every week and they are paid little attention all season long and he cited sp