May 26, 2013

Pre-Game 3 notes: Heat-Pacers

The Indiana Pacers have tied the series 1-1, heading back to Bankers Life Fieldhouse with a chance to take a 2-1 lead over the defending champs. Here are some pre-game notes, thoughts, and what to watch for in Game 3 tonight.


- Miami went 0-2 at Indiana during the regular season, losing both games by double digits.

- Through the first two games, the Pacers have spent 64:12 with the lead over the Heat. Miami has had the lead for 19:13, and the games have been tied for 17:35.

- Roy Hibbert has nearly doubled his regular season production in these Eastern Conference Finals, averaging over 20 points per game and shooting 58% from the field.

- Only twice in LeBron James' career has he turned the ball over in the final minute of a game (Game 2 was the first in a playoff game).


- Body language: The home crowd angst has the power to create early jitters for the home team. Watch for Indiana's poise in their early possessions on both ends of the floor.

- Miami defense: The fastest defense in the league is being tested by over-the-top passes and second chances on the glass. Look for Miami's defense to show a concerted effort to force early turnovers and gain an early advantage. 

-Turnovers: Indiana has lost every game in these playoffs when committing 19+ turnovers. In Game 2 they committed just 13, watch for their handling of the basketball this evening.

- Miami bench: Aside from Chris Andersen the Heat bench has been ineffective. Look for Ray Allen to turn that around, and for Shane Battier to make a shot.

- DWAYNE WADE: With just half the amount of points as LeBron in this series, Flash has seemingly cruised along so far. Watch for a potential coming out party for Wade in one of these games in Indy, much like last year's conference semifinal performance in Game 4.

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