It wasn’t so much that Indiana beat Miami in game one,it was how they did it. Strong defense, efficient shooting and good defense led the Pacers to the big win in the Eastern Conference Finals. Now the question is whether Miami makes the right adjustments or whether Indiana takes a 2-0 lead to Miami.
Miami (-3) at Indiana, Pacers Lead 1-0 – Miami Heat All-Star Dwyane Wade was spotted wearing socks yesterday at practice that may have given an indication of his team needs to play tonight. The socks were red, white and blue and featured players from the ‘Bad Boy’ Era Detroit Pistons on them. So what was the message?
Sounds to me like the Heat feel like they need to ramp up the aggressiveness and physicality in an effort to tie up the series before returning to South Beach for games three and four. It concur that it’s probably a pretty good idea.
It wasn’t that Indiana played dirty in game one or that Miami needs to play that way in game two, the idea for the Heat is turn a couple of serious trends around swiftly. First and foremost, Miami needs to get to the foul line. The Heat attempted just 15 free throws while Indiana went to the charity strip 37 times, making 29 of them.
That type of disparity cannot happen again if Miami is going to even this series.
Heat Head Coach Erik Spoelstra has to decide if he is going to go big in an effort to limit the Pacers’ rebounding advantage or stay small knowing the team must shoot better. Going big means more minutes for Udonis Haslem but he isn’t much of an offensive threat.
The other potential big man is Greg Oden who was signed specifically to deal with Roy Hibbert. He is still struggling to get on the court and I think his ship may have sailed for this series. Should Spoelstra decide to stick with his usual line-up and rotation then he’ll need more support from his three-point shooters.
As a team, the Heat were 6 of 23 for 26% from beyond the arc. Chris Bosh was 0 for 5, Mario Chalmers was 1 for 4 while LeBron James was 1 for 5. Chances are good that this type of poor outside shooting will not continue but the Heat can’t just expect it to change. They must create solid, open opportunities.
Indiana Head Coach Frank Vogel has been to this rodeo a few times already and he knows the Heat will make adjustments but to what extent he won’t know until the game flows. Vogel cannot overreact here and make rash moves if the Heat suddenly start clicking. He has to have faith in David West, Paul George and company so that they adjust themselves.
Both Wade and James had decent scoring games in game one but they’ll need significant help in order to even the series. The expectation is that Miami will come out blazing and will even this series but I just don’t think it’s going to be that simple.
I love the Pacers getting the three points tonight. Don’t be surprised to see Indiana go to South Beach with a 2-0 lead.
Keep an eye on… Miami is 1-4 against the spread in its last five games when playing on the road against Indiana… Indiana is 5-14 against the spread in its last 19 games at home… Indiana is 5-0 straight up in its last five games when playing at home against Miami… Miami is 8-2 straight up in its last 10 games.