Friday, May 31st, 2013 at 9:10 am  |  28 responses

Post Up: One Man Show

LeBron imposes his will to push the Heat to a 3-2 lead.

Heat 90, Pacers 79 (Heat lead series 3-2)

In a game that was all about the tale of two halves, the Miami Heat took control of the Eastern Conference Finals with a convincing win over the Indiana Pacers Thursday night in American Airlines Arena.

Heading into the game and even after the first half, the Heat’s reputation was hanging in the balance. If Miami lost, they would be going down 3-2 in the Playoffs and would have an 83 percent chance of being knocked out completely.

One year removed from a championship, it wouldn’t bode well for their future hopes of a dynasty. Instead of “not one, not two, not three…” it would have looked like their number of rings would stop at one, especially with Dwyane Wade ailing and getting older by the minute.

There was only one way the Heat could avert disaster: LeBron James had to play so well that it would overshadow the ineptitude of his teammates, particularly Chris Bosh, and stunt on the Pacers. When the second half started, James was ready for the moment and completely took the game over, single handedly willing his team to victory. In the third quarter alone, James individually outscored the entire Pacers team 16-13. He would finish the game with 30 points, eight rebounds and six assists.

In response to LeBron’s performance, Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra noted in the post game press conference, “That’s LeBron showing his greatness and making it look easy. His engine in that third quarter was incredible,” explained Spoelstra. “He was making plays on both ends of the court, rebounding, covering so much ground defensively and then making virtually every play for us offensively.”

The first half told a story of an Indiana Pacers team that was looking to take control of the series. Paul George and Roy Hibbert started the game hot, combining to score the first 23 points of the game for Indiana. George’s 15 points in the first half were a great sign for the Pacers, as he’s only scored 17 combined in the first half of the last four games.

The second half told an entirely different story. The Pacers began showing signs of fatigue and the Heat continued to move the ball well and tire out the visiting squad. Indiana had the lead in the first half, but the Heat came back and trounced the Pacers in the second by a 15-point margin. James’ third quarter performance will be the lasting memory of the night. He thoroughly outplayed the entire Pacers team by himself, single handedly scoring more and dishing out more assists.

After the game, TNT’s David Aldridge asked Pacers forward David West about why the Heat were able to get their offense going in the second half: “Haslem basically had the same exact game he had, same amount of shots, same amount of makes,” said West. “We just didn’t defend the way we know we’re capable of. It’s going to be tough to get another win and force a Game 7. We knew this game was going to be tough. We just didn’t have enough fight.”

For the Heat, Udonis Haslem was the X-factor, scoring 16 points on 8-9 shooting from the field in only 26 minutes. Mario Chalmers had 12 points and six assists, and Wade added 10 points and six rebounds. Chris Bosh only put up seven points and five rebounds in 33 minutes of play, continuing to fuel speculation about his trade viability after the season.

George led the way for the Indiana Pacers scoring 27 points, grabbing 11 rebounds and dishing out five assists. Despite George’s strong offensive play, the Pacers shot poorly in the second half, shooting under 40 percent. Hibbert was the team’s second-leading scorer with 22 points and six rebounds, while West added 17 and eight.

With the Pacers going stale on offense in the second half, Lance Stephenson not scoring a bucket until late in the fourth quarter, and Indiana being way too careless with the ball, the Heat, or LeBron, took control of the series. Now, it’s up to the Pacers to slow down James and Co. on their home court Saturday night in Game 6.--Daniel Friedman

Game 6 will be played Saturday night in Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, IN. Tip-off begins at 8:30 p.m. EST on TNT. Quotes from this article were pulled from NBA.com and NBA TV’s live stream of each team’s post game press conferences.

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  • Max

    After 2 years, it looks like UD found his mid range game again.

  • Fat Lever

    Wade looks like a shell of himself. Bosh should be embarrassed with the effort he’s putting forth. West and Hibbert are very, very good big men, but Bosh needs to realize he is an all-star. He wants the recognition? Now time to step up and earn the title when your team needs you. Chalmers is showing more heart than both of them combined.

    Seriously though, what good is Wade being out there if he has no impact on the game whatsoever?

  • Jay Cutler

    Wade definitely looks like he’s going through the motions. Seems to always have that lazy, disinterested t Mac look.

    Battier is bricking everything. Definitely no match for west defensively. Ray Allen is way off and missing free throws. He can’t stay infront of anyone with those ankles. Bosh is just soft. 7 footer that can’t body up and wants to jack 3s.

    Your offense comes down to chalmers and haslem dropping 20 each while lebron puts up superhuman efforts.

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    5 games in and it looks like there are 4 all-stars in this series…and 3 of them are on the Pacers.

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/savagemuzicgroup T-Ray

    I agree with you to some degree. Wade is putting up pedestrian numbers as far as points go but if he’s not healthy the Heat have to be happy that he gives them rebounds and assists. As far as Bosh goes idk what his problem is. Maybe he’s expending too much energy on the defensive end trying to limit Hibbert.

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/savagemuzicgroup T-Ray

    Couple things I noticed from last night:
    1. What took Miami so long to front Hibbert then come with a hard double?
    2. For 2 games UD looked like 06 UD.
    3. DWade & Bosh just look God awful.
    4. Birdman is paying great dividends as an energy guy.
    5. The backcourt for the Pacers is just abysmal. At one point their frontcourt had 61 of the teams 70 points.
    6. LeBron….just damn.

  • bike

    Kinda hard to see a Big Three in MIA’s future anymore. Wade is hurt, but Wade is always hurt the past few years. Bosh can’t seem to handle teams with big, strong frontcourts. LeBron is doing like he did in Cleveland–single-handily doing whatever it takes to win and working with whatever he has at the time. He will be in G.O.A.T. discussions before long.

  • Datkid

    WTF is wrong with Bosh? We all already knew D.wade was dying but seriously…

  • Junior Taylor

    That is why I have always said that Lance and GHill (specifically) were key to IND’s fortunes.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Bosh has an ankle sprain. Wouldn’t have played yesterday had that been a regular season game.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Bosh and Wade are both hurt.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Bosh has a messed up ankle. Apparently shouldn’t be playing.

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/savagemuzicgroup T-Ray

    You got that right. I mean they are dominant in the paint no doubt but you need perimeter threats.

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/savagemuzicgroup T-Ray

    Well that too.

  • Junior Taylor

    Is the ankle sprain also to blame for the sudden decline in his rebounding ever since moving to South Beach 3 years ago?

  • Fat Lever

    I know wade is hurt, which is why I was saying if he’s hurting his team being out there then what’s the point.

    As far as bosh, I didn’t know his ankle sprain was that bad. They need one of those two to give them their normal production.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    uhm, i would say that’s a system issue. i don’t think his ability to rebound just magically disappeared.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    oh i agree completely. i just wanted to make sure that was stated.

  • Allen Powell

    I think Bosh is tired of wrestling with two monsters. now where to rest with Hibbert and West on the floor man. Wade doesn’t have his usual burst, but he still brings something to the game. He just can’t carry the second team alone like he used to be able to do.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Wade’s knee is very bulky. It’s not even like last year where he could hide it for stretches. And it seems like when he is not explosive he becomes completely complacent.
    i agree about Bosh. He’s essentially a big giant shooting guard right now. that injury is probably a contributing factor, he has been hell for Hibbert in the past.

  • http://twitter.com/AjpDos Allen Powell

    Can someone who knows the salary cap tell me if the Pacers can afford Chris Paul?

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/savagemuzicgroup T-Ray

    I haven’t taken an indepth look but I know off the top of my head that if they dump Granger and Hill from the books they have a shot.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Nah. They don’t have max money

  • Bandwagonfan

    True. Chris bosh and wade aint playin like an allstar but as a role player. Bosh as a shooter, wade as a cutter and penetrator. Wade dont give shooting threat anymore. When pacers have 3 damn threat. Paul george, david west, and hibbert. Ball goes to their hand and as a heat fan i always thought that it would result in bucket.

  • Bandwagonfan

    This is so true man. Legic comment, dont forget about cole and birdman thoughh.

  • Bandwagonfan

    Wade cant put perimeter threat. People even dont close him out when hes gonna shot. What he good is at driving the lane and cutting

  • Max

    Still don’t get how he went from grabbing 11 per game to sometimes failing to get 5.

  • Melvin flynt

    heatnation will rise game 6 is a wrap!