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Thursday, May 23rd, 2013 at 10:17 am  |  61 responses

Post Up: Heat In Control

Miami wins in overtime to take a 1-0 ECF lead.

Heat 103, Pacers 102 F/OT (Heat take 1-0 lead)

What a way to start the Eastern Conference Finals. This game was close throughout, as Indiana led by five at the break but by just one after three. With 8:36 left, a LeBron James layup tied the game at 72, and the Heat were either tied or in the lead for the rest of regulation.

With under a minute left, a tough David West bucket knotted the score at 89 before Dwyane Wade gave the Heat the lead again. A Paul George miss and subsequent trip to the line for Ray Allen seemed like it would spell the end of the line for the Pacers. But Allen split his free throws, to give Indy a chance. With nearly no time left, George drained an absurdly deep three, and the game headed to OT.

Indy led by three with 2:10 left in the extra period, but didn’t score again until for two minutes. In that time, Miami managed to take a two-point lead. The Pacers again had their backs against the wall, but Wade fouled George on a three-point try and George calmly knocked down all three freebies with 2.2 ticks left. But, as you know by now, LeBron ripped the hearts out of Pacers fans and Heat haters alike with an all-too-easy layup as time expired.

Heat 103, Pacers 102.

The MVP finished with a triple double—30 points, 10 boards and 10 dimes. He hit a pair of treys and rejected three shots. D-Wade (19 in 41 minutes) and Chris Bosh (17) were solid, and Birdman Andersen was awesome. He hit all seven of his attempts from the field as well as two free throws, and finished with 16 points, 5 boards and 3 blocks.

The Pacers, as they often do, got a strong, balanced effort from their guys. George (27) and West (26) led the team in scoring. Roy Hibbert was great with 19 points and 9 boards while keeping Bosh (2 rebounds) off the glass. George Hill and Lance Stephenson combined to shoot just 4-of-19, but also tallied 16 rebounds, 10 assists and 8 steals.

The Pacers did everything right. They won the rebounding battle, forced 21 turnovers and held the Heat to 5-of-18 shooting from deep. George and West were massively clutch, but ultimately it just wasn’t enough. The loss will be blamed largely on coach Frank Vogel, who left Hibbert on the bench during the last play, opting to stick Sam Young on Chris Bosh. Perhaps if Hibbert was on the floor he could have altered LeBron’s game-winner, but Miami wisely kept Bosh in the corner on the final play, which prevented any Pacers’ bigs from helping around the rim on such a quick play—it’s hardly a guarantee that Hibbert would have saved the game for Indy.

Teams have bounced back from heart-breakers in this postseason before—Golden State winning Game 2 against the Spurs after blowing Game 1 and the Nets winning Game 5 after their epic Game 4 collapse in Chicago come to mind—and the Pacers will have a chance to do just that on Friday night.–Leo Sepkowitz

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  • a

    Since LeBron came into the league in 2003-04, nobody in the NBA has made more game-tying and go-ahead shots in the final 24 seconds of playoff games than LeBron, who is 7-of-16 on those shots. His 43.8 field goal percentage on those clutch shots ranks the best in the NBA since his rookie season among players with at least 10 attempts. The league average is 28.3 percent on those shots.

  • http://twitter.com/stepfdelaghetto Stepfan Raiford

    12 combined points from your starting backcourt is not going to cut it. George Hill played scared/terrible last night. I know he’s better than that but boy did those bright lights on that big stage get to him. David West played well but sold out his team in OT. Missed free throws ,and the missed floater. So many missed opprotunities. 30 10 and 10 with the game winning shot. Beast. Kind of upset Paul George was left on an island by himself, but then again even if Hibbert was in the game, I still feel it was a lose lose situation. 2.2 seconds is just to much time for the best player in game today.

  • http://twitter.com/apowellAdvocate Allen Powell II

    This recap was too bland for that great of a game. That was the best game I’ve watched in the playoffs so far, and one of the best all year despite all the sloppy turnovers.
    Some quick takeaways in case anyone is interested in reading.

    1. I am impressed with Paul George’s handle. I was under the impression from other sources that he was basically a walking turnover when he put the ball on the floor in traffic. That is not true at all. Dude has a nice handle, and he finishes well. Combine that with his confidence and consistent jumper and he’s a beast.
    2. David West played like the David West Chris Paul still remembers fondly.

    3. Wade looked good all night. If he gives that effort all series, the Heat are in good shape. Bosh needs to hit the glass harder for sure, and he needs to remember he driver around Hibbert anytime he wants.

    4.The Heat were pressing early, and then played solid in the second half. However, they have to do a better job of gang rebounding and Wade and Bron have to pick their spots better when it comes to getting out on the fast break. They were constantly hunting easy points, which is key, but that was hurting them on the glass.
    5. Everyone talks about how the Pacers will pound the Heat into submission, and that’s possible. But, that will require West and Hibbert playing MASSIVE minutes, which clearly had them somewhat gassed at the end of Game One. Particularly West.
    6. What happened to Haslem’s once awesome mid-range jumper?
    7. Voegel and Spoelstra both did a good job most of the game. I thought Spoelstra one the match-up this game after Voegel decided to sit Hibbert late. I could respect his logic about Bosh’s ability to get to the rim, but I think you have to have Hibbert there to protect the rim, and give up the jumper if necessary. Layups are just unacceptable on game winners.
    8. If you watched Bron all game, he consistently caught the ball on his pop-outs and went into the triple threat position. However, on the game winner, he made the same approach to the ball, and when he noticed that George was squaring up to play defense, he quickly pivoted and drove hard left. That was an incredibly savvy play that had been set up by all of his actions previous to that.
    9. Bron was getting handled by George off the bounce at certain points. It was shocking how easily George was getting to the rim. I don’t know if it was lack of effort, or George is just that much of a problem.
    10. My homeboy who is a coach noted that Spoelstra rolled shooters to BRon’s side on that last play, which made it less likely that any help would come. Smart move.

  • Mike From Spain

    Guess that Wade was not so banged up as I thought he would be, his performance and Birdman’s where the wildcards that went right, and even with that, the Heat barely came on top. Well, next match maybe Birdman does not hit all his shots, but maybe Ray Allen hits a more typical 3 or 4 threes, so barring some genious adjustment by the Pacers defense, or a reduction of the turnovers by the Pacers, I see game 2 going a bit like this one… could go either way, not a blow out for the Heat.

  • Mike From Spain

    Lance Stephenson and George Hill did not bring their A-Game… or were neutralized by the Heat. If it was just nerves because of the big stage, maybe they could become better in game 2. If it is the Heat’s merit, they will continue to suck the rest of the series.

  • Mike From Spain

    great recap, I like the points you bring up

  • http://twitter.com/apowellAdvocate Allen Powell II

    Hill didn’t bring his A game. Stephenson is not going to be much of a factor if he cant’ shoot. He’s not just going around the Heat defenders on the bounce like he did New York.

  • Max

    Was that a travel on that last play by the NBA rules?
    I don’t think it is, but I’m just doubting it because in Europe that would be a travel.

  • Max

    6. It’s been gone since 2011.
    8. Very smart move.

  • http://twitter.com/apowellAdvocate Allen Powell II

    His right foot didn’t come off the ground until the ball hit the floor. Even in Europe that’s not a travel.

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    1) Reggie Miller’s commentary annoys the hell out of me.

    2) Vogel really messed up by benching Hibbert which resulted in two Lebron layups, but Spo made some crucial mistakes as well. Battier was 0/4 from the field with 1 rebound and getting absolutely MURDERED by West on the defensive end, yet Spo decided to play him over Birdman (who was having the game of his life) during crunch time in the 4th and most of OT.

    Also, when your team is up 3 points with 7 seconds left, you foul and send your opponent to the line for 2 free throws. It’s simple math. I don’t know how many teams need to get burned by a last second 3 for this to be the norm.

    Sorry for the rant.

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    What up Allen? Just wanted your insight on the Wade foul on George that lead to the 3 free throws. Foul or no foul?

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    - Paul George reminds me of Clyde Drexler.

    - David West has been better than any David West, Chris Paul played with all season.

    - I think the Heat are just hoping Wade is healthy enough to do that multiple times

    - Good Point

    - Good Point

    - I don’t think it ever existed. He just had a good couple game stretch in 06

    - Vogel out coached himself at the end. But i also don’t think Hibbert would win a race against LeBron. They both would have been about equal distance from the hoop. That mistake was on Paul George.

    - Agreed! happy somone noticed this.

    - Miami was trying to force Indiana sideline the whole game. LeBron kept shading too far towards the baseline, making himself easy to pick, and easy to get off balance trying to catch up to George’s length once he did get a step.

    - Spoelstra is really great in late game situations. Really great.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    yes it was. but it’s not one that would ever be called. ever.

  • http://twitter.com/apowellAdvocate Allen Powell II

    Spoelestra played Battier because his mere presence opens up everything Wade and Bron do off the bounce. It pulls either West or Hibbert away from the basket, and when Battier is paired with Bosh it pulls them BOTH away from the basket. Birdman should take Haslem’s minutes more than Battier’s because Haslem doesn’t cut as well on dribble drives and he has problems finishing over length. If he was still hitting his jumper it would be different, but he’s not.

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    Battier definitely helps spread the floor with his presence, and even when he struggles to find his stroke, I feel like his contributions on the defensive end and on the boards make up for him missing wide open 3s.

    It’s just that last night, he appeared to be badly overmatched by West in every aspect of the game (Battier had 0 fgs, 1 rebound, and 5 fouls in 30 minutes), and he seemed incapable of keeping West out of his spots (i know, easier said than done).

    Offensive spacing is key, I just felt like Birdman’s energy brought more to the table last night.

  • i_ball

    If Chalmers doesn’t play the next game we will see exactly how valuable he is for the Heat. Nobody seems to notice he got injured.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    because Norris Cole was so damn good defensively.

  • http://twitter.com/stepfdelaghetto Stepfan Raiford

    He took George Hill’s heart.

  • http://twitter.com/apowellAdvocate Allen Powell II

    He is going to be overmatched by West every game. West used to give the business to elite power forwards, like Tim Duncan. Killing Battier is child’s play. But, the Heat are banking on the idea that even with West kills he’s not going to score 50.
    Plus, Birdman can’t guard West either. Haslem is their best chance on West, and he’s bringing too little on offense at this point.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    i still don’t understand why Spoelstra doesn’t run out,
    - Chalmers/Cole, Wade, Battier, James, Bosh primarily.
    .
    With James on West, Wade on Stephenson, Battier on George, Bosh on Hibbert.
    .
    Hibbert is the only glaring mismatch. Except he’s an 11PPG center, i wouldn’t really be worried about him beating me. And on the other end, David West and Roy Hibbert each have to guard a shooter. That’s exhausting, and a recipe for foul trouble.

  • RayJr

    I’m starting to think that Spo is trying to steal Pop’s Jedi mind tricks by saying Wade is not 100% and then he plays great just like Parker and Ginobli. Ok Ginobli not as much as Parker but yeah those guys don’t look hurt at all.

  • http://twitter.com/conorklnohara Conor O’Hara

    His penultimate basket was a travel. Three steps. But the game winning basket was not.

  • Max

    He took a step (left foot) before taking a dribble.
    That’s a travel.

  • spit hot fiyah

    Paul George reminds me of Clyde Drexler. – except he doesn’t have to look at the ball when he dribbles it on the fast break

  • spit hot fiyah

    i’ll jump in. clear foul, u can see that he hit his arm on the replay

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    Hey shf, you think? I’ve been watching the play over and over but I can only find 2 camera angles on it on YouTube. Neither of which which shows much contact.

    I think George’s body language and the fact that it was an air ball off a desperation shot suggested a foul, but I just didn’t see it.

    Just my opinion.

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    That’s fair. I just think Hibbert and West dominating the boards over Bosh and Battier (who combined for a measly 3 rebounds) might be playing with fire over a 7 game series.

    Either way, this is going to be a fun series to watch.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    oh god, wait till you guys see the All-NBA teams….

  • spit hot fiyah

    i hear u, i thought it was clear on the second replay they showed on the broadcast

  • LakeShow

    They nailed the first team.

  • i_ball

    They are not bad at all – Brook Lopez and Steph Curry probably should have made it, maybe Randolph.

    How would you have them?

  • http://www.facebook.com/saul.reyes.581 Saul Reyes

    Paul George reminds me of Tracy McGrady- the body, the skills, the athleticism, except Paul George appears to give much more effort on defense.

  • http://twitter.com/apowellAdvocate Allen Powell II

    And doesn’t have that crazy leg kick on his jumpers. And can go left consistently. Wait, he doesn’t really remind of Clyde Drexler that much at all.

  • http://twitter.com/apowellAdvocate Allen Powell II

    I think he’s concerned about wrestling with Hibbert being too much for Bosh if he has to help on West and drivers. That lineup stretches the floor, but as Meat Hook noted, it would get killed on the glass for a series. So he has to balance things.
    And he doesn’t want LeBron on David West because LeBron would tired and get in foul trouble. West would give LeBron all sorts of issues., make no mistake.

  • http://twitter.com/apowellAdvocate Allen Powell II

    I didn’t see the angle that showed the foul. I thought he missed him when I saw it last night.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    so players only remind you of each other when they have the same mannerisms?
    .
    And nobody back then was finishing with their left on a consistent basis except Jordan. the skill level is advanced in every era.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    George doesn’t have that scoring attitude that McGrady had. He’s more of a team player. And the defense is a lot like Drexlers was. Which is and has always been underrated.

  • Junior Taylor

    George reminds me of a better skilled/defensive Rudy Gay.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    i know he would give LeBron issues. I just think he would do it inefficiently. ANd on the other end, Indiana has 3 or even 4 glaring mismatches if you consider putting David West on a shooter a mismatch.

  • bike

    I had no idea Paul George was that good.
    Coaching may be the X factor in this series.
    This is gonna be an awesome battle between these two teams.

  • http://www.facebook.com/saul.reyes.581 Saul Reyes

    Yeah I agree with the scoring mentality but I feel with his success in these playoffs he’ll become more aggressive and looking more for his shot. I feel that although he’s their best player, he still fully doesn’t think that it’s his team.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Check the All-NBA page

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    This success is more of a Clyde Drexler attribute then McGrady off the jump tho!! He won a series.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Yeah that’s a fair comparison, he’s basically just a more disciplined version who understand defense better

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    The Heat get out rebounded almost every game anyway. Same story last year, when they beat Indiana without Bosh altogether

  • http://twitter.com/apowellAdvocate Allen Powell II

    Magic had a nice left. Bird too. Isiah. Drexler was one of the biggest right handed bandits of all the modern superstars.

    But your point is true about skills. Which is why it’s funny when old cats talk abotu fundamentals. What they did do better was move without the ball. They were awesome at that stuff.

  • http://twitter.com/apowellAdvocate Allen Powell II

    Clyde was kind of suspect on defense. Jordan exposed him. And while you can say “It’s Jordan.” George is dealing with LeBron, and he obviously did a good job on him despite the triple double.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Ok, the 4 best players of that Era, Charles Barkley, Hakeem Olajuwan, Kevin Johnson, Mark Price, John Starks, Mitch Richmond, Chris Mullin, Gary Payton – that’s about it who i can think of who could consistently use their off hand…. that’s a very select group of guys.
    .
    Now a days, the list would be guys who can’t use their off hand on a consistent basis. That’s why I don’t really think about the fundamentals.
    .
    When i think of comparing guys cross generations i look at a few things, (i’ll use George and Drexler for the sake of what i’m saying)
    - Strengths – Each guy is a huge wing who plays like an off guard. George is more of a jump shooter, while Drexler was a little bit better as a playmaker. But essentially both were very long SF’s (era wise) sized Shooting Guards who did everything at an above average level on offense. Both guys are/were upper level defensive players at their position as well. Long, with the ability to guard multiple positions.
    - Size relatable to Era
    - Style – As in they both were comfortable off the bounce or without the ball, neither guy posts up much, both were selective with how or even if they attacked. Both guys, in different ways, are the long highlight film type guy who does everything just a little bit different.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    He got a triple double on 50% shooting…..

    .

    That isn’t much worse than this,
    http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/j/jordami01/gamelog/1992/#87-92-sum:pgl_basic_playoffs

  • http://www.rich-imaging.com/ Dutch Rich

    Pippen was very good going left and finishing left as well. It can be a good thing, especially when your hands aren’t too big. A guy like Worthy never needed it though. Drexler was a bit in that mold.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    dammit, Yeah Pippen, I wasn’t really even thinking about him as part of that era, but i really should have.

  • http://twitter.com/MeganSc15917198 Megan Scott

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  • http://kizi-friv.kizi2.com/ kizi friv

    Good Point.Yeah I agree with the scoring mentality.

  • Datkid

    I said the same thing during the game. only I thought it would happen, and it never really did. I guess the threat of Paul george going off is too great? although with that being said… I’d do it anyway.

  • Datkid

    also as a side note, I think Lewis should see some minutes. He’d get killed defensively, but he’d force a big man to come allllll the way out to the 3 point line which is fatal.

  • Datkid

    hmm. nice. better 3 point shooting version too.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    It’s hard to say, LeBron was in foul trouble from the 4 minute mark on lol. Even if Spo planned to use it, he never got the chance.

  • Datkid

    Haslem’s jumper hasn’t been reliable since last year, after his injury, which is why the they were in so much trouble last year when bosh went down. Theoretically they should have just kept on rolling.

  • Datkid

    Chalmers and cole had Hill scared to dribble.

  • http://www.friv2friv3friv4.com/ friv 2 friv 3 friv 4

    Good Point.Yeah I agree with the scoring mentality.

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