May 17, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indiana Pacers forward Paul George (24) goes up for a dunk against Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6) at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

NBA Playoffs 2012: Pacers Take Series Lead From Heat, 2-1

Roy Hibbert had his best game in the NBA Wednesday night, scoring 19 points and grabbing 18  to go along with his 5 blocks, leading the Indiana Pacers to victory. The Bosh-less Heat might as well have been the “Superstar-Less” Heat as Wade and James disappeared in the 2nd half combining for 11 points. After a tie ball game at half, the Pacers started to pull away in the third, winning game 3, 94-75, and taking the series lead 2-1.

Roy “Polar Bear” Hibbert

Roy Hibbert is likely the 3rd best center in the league. Nobody knows that because he plays for an, all season long, underrated Pacers team. With the world watching Wednesday night, he likely has become a household name. Bosh-Less or not, the Heat knew Indiana was going to use Hibbert as their focal point going forward. I suppose the Heat’s front court did not get the memo, Hibbert had a sickening stat stuffing game. Not usually an offensive juggernaut, Hibbert score 19 points to go along with his 18 rebounds. What has always been Hibbert’s strength, defense, shined through tonight as well. The Heat, outside of Mario Chalmers, did not dare to enter the paint. When they did? The “Polar Bear” was there to swat away their futile attempts at a bucket. Roy recorded 5 blocks as well, which is stupendously great, he would have gotten more if the Heat had the courage to go inside the paint. Just nugget of knowledge to be dropped on you, “Polar Bear” is the nickname he earned tonight. Don’t ask why, just accept it.

What Had Happened Was

Dwayne Wade has been the face of the Miami Heat for some time now. Well starting in game 2 and continuing in game 3, he continued to tarnish it by blowing up on his head coach. Game 2 saw him destroy a Pacers player in a defenseless position. My colleague Chris Walden covered it at length in his previous article. Wednesday he decided to take his frustration out on head coach Erick Spoelstra. Coach Spo, never being confused for a basketball genius, tried to “coach”. So in return, Wade did what every basket case would do. He flipped out on the sideline in front of a national audience. Wade is slowly getting a reputation of being a dirty player. Now he is going to get one of a knuckle-head. Last I checked it was not Spoelstra’s fault you scored a glorious 5 points in the 2nd half. Sure Wade’s running mate, with a receding hairline, did no better, 6 points in the 2nd half, but he was not throwing any tempter-tantrums. Especially not to the man in charge of running the show. With 2:30 to go in the 4th period Spoelstra pulled his starters. Instead of whining on the bench, Lebron tried to talk up his teammates and support who was left on the court. Thursday morning and the rest of the time leading up to game 5 will focus on Lebron disappearing in the 2nd half. But when is Wade’s free pass going to stop. It was both of their faults this game ended up a blowout. Had it not been for Mario Chalmers playing out of his mind, the Heat could have lost by 30.

Balanced Scoring

The Pacers have no sizzle, no flash. That doesn’t mean that they aren’t fun to watch. Indiana had 4 players in double figures, led by Spurs cast-off George Hill with 20. If you have watched the Knicks play this year, then watch Indiana, you would see the difference between team basketball and hero ball. Isolation basketball only in scripted segments for the Pacers. Setting the tone and determined to play their style of basketball stood out from the tip.

Danny Granger is tagged as their “star” player, he doesn’t act like it. As little as 2 years ago Granger had a gunslingers mentality with the ball. Not 2012’s Danny Granger, team first. Danny only took 15 shots, making 6 of them on his way to 17 points. His effort on defense might not necessarily show up on SportCenter, but he tried to cover anybody Frank Vogel assigned him too. While not as gifted a defender as Lebron James, his effort on that side of the ball seems to rub off on his teammates.

Crashing The Glass

The Pacers out rebounded the Heat 52-36. Obviously the absence of Bosh has some effects in the disparity on the boards. But Chris Bosh is not Dennis Rodman, he only averaged 8 boards a game. Miami needs to decide now what they are going to do with their front-court. Either play Lebron as a TRUE 4, or don’t have him guard David West. I think the biggest mistake the Heat are making now is not putting Lebron in a situation to fail. David West is not the most athletic power forward in the world. If the Heat want Lebron taking turns guarding West and Granger, that’s fine. What they need to do on the offensive of side is play James in the post. Not only will he get easier buckets, West is not a super defender, he will help Miami on the offensive glass. Miami had 11 offensive rebounds Wednesday night. 3 coming from Mario Chalmers(a point guard, meaning long rebounds), 4 from Turiaf, and 1 a piece from 3 other guys not named Joel Anthony. The Joel Anthony project needs to stop now, it’s not working. Get Lebron to play the 4, get Anthony out of the rotation. You have more depth, if you want to call it that, from the 1 through 3 spots. You have NONE at the 4 and 5. Your season is depending on James because god knows Wade is done, so at the very least put him in a situation to help you.

Going Forward

Erick Spoelstra has some soul searching to do. His team can’t go down 3-1. Cliche as it sounds, it’s hard to win 3 to another team’s 1. His career in Miami probably depends on it. Whether he knows it or not, the same applies for Dwayne Wade. The free pass I was talking about earlier, is expiring soon. Maybe coach Spo should spend some quality time with Wade to figure out how to get him going. Spoesltra already made a desperation move injecting Shane Battier at the 4 to start the game. I think it’s obvious at this point Wade and James can’t be on the floor at the same time together. If the Heat are to lose this series they are going to break up the big 3. Lebron is younger, Bosh does not have much trade value, that means Wade is the movable piece. Spoelstra should try bringing Wade off the bench in a James Harden type role. Worse case scenario? It’s a disaster because Wade makes it that way. If that’s the case, you have a scapegoat for the series. Then you trade him off to the highest bidder in the off-season. If it works? Spoelstra is a genius and the Heat can turn around this series. Because honestly, at this point, the Pacers look like a superior team and it’s not even close.

Game 4

Game 4 will be Sunday at 3:30pm on ABC. The Pacers will be hosting the Heat. After the game come to Sir Charles for a recap. My coverage counterpart, Jason Leung, was absent this game but will be back for game 5. He was busy multiplying gremlins with his new water gun.

Joseph Nardone is a Writer/Blogger for Sir Charles In Charge. You can follow him on the twitter machine@JosephNardone

Tags: Chris Bosh Dwayne Wade Indiana Pacers LeBron James NBA Playoffs 2012 Roy Hibbert

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