Can the Pacers Really Beat the Heat?
The online sports books gave the Indiana Pacers more than a slight chance to win the Eastern Conference finals over the Miami Heat and for good reason. There were two teams that the Miami Heat had problems with during the regular season; the Chicago Bulls and the Indiana Pacers. Miami shook the problems with Chicago by beating the Bulls 4-1 in the second round of the playoffs. But the Bulls were, once again, hobbled by injuries and the Heat did not look as dominating as it should have. Even though Miami won the series, doubts about the Heat’s chances of repeating were raised.
We expected a much different series between the Miami Heat and the Indiana Pacers, mostly because the Pacers are completely healthy heading into the Eastern Conference finals. Whenever the playoffs get started, most people go back to Lebron James’ promise of several world titles for the Miami Heat now that the “big three” was in town. A lot of the NBA veterans dismissed James’ hype because, at that point, Lebron James had never won an NBA title. Now that the Heat and James have a title under their collective belts, it is time to see if the promise of multiple titles can come true.
There is a real concern that if the Heat loses these Eastern Conference finals, then the team could start a downward spiral. In this day and age of a salary cap in basketball, having three incredibly expensive players on a roster does not leave a lot of room for good role players. While the Heat has been dominating over the past few years, the holes in their roster has caused some problems as well.
Now here comes a team like the Indiana Pacers that is young and extremely talented. It is a team that has had the Heat’s number all season long when it comes to shutting down Miami’s defense. If there was any team who found a way to slow down and even stop the great Miami machine, it is the Indiana Pacers. But that was the regular season. The Pacers could never pull that off in the playoffs, right?
The experts cannot help but notice that the Pacers have been able to maintain its defensive dominance over Miami in the playoffs. Yes, the Heat has been able to pull out two wins and score points. But that is to be expected in the playoffs when Miami has pushed its game to the next level.
But if the next level for Miami is still not enough to dominate the Pacers, then what happens in these playoffs? The NBA Eastern Conference finals should go at least six, if not seven, games. The only thing left to determine is whether Indiana can actually win this series. The answer to that question, as the Miami Heat will tell you, is yes.
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