Indiana came out the aggressor early on, but turnovers(20) and strong runs at the end of quarters by Miami cost the Pacers the series. Dwayne Wade was a man beast Thursday night, scoring 26 of his 41 points in the first half. Wade along with teammate Lebron James combined for 69 of the teams 105 points as Miami knocks off Indiana 105-93. The Heat will now move on to the Eastern Conference Finals to face the winner of Boston/Philadelphia.
Snap Fast Reaction
Indiana came out “hard” and looked fantastic. Head coach Frank Vogel clearly wanted the team to go to the post early and often, getting touches for David West and Roy “Polar Bear” Hibbert on the first handful of possessions. However, as the series has shown, the Pacers would soon abandon their game plan and start launching jumpers and 3 pointers.
What really stood out from game 6 was the 20 turnovers Indiana had. Some can be attributed to the Heat’s defense. Others? Well it seemed as if Indiana thought they had some mysterious players in the stands. The inability of Paul George to make a routine pass is down right laughable. Despite his affinity for turning the ball over, George knocked some key 3’s to keep the Pacers in the game.
As for Miami, it looks like their role players are coming alive. I’ve written Mike Miller off more than councilors at Camp Crystal Lake had written off Jason Vorhees. Miller, especially in the 1st half scoring 9 points, looked lively Thursday night. Despite being hampered with a bad back, Miller finished the game with 12 points and a block. His ability to knock down the 3 is something Miami has been waiting on and will need going forward.
Mario Chalmers was also effective, shooting 3 for 4 from beyond the arc and finishing with 15 points. The bonus for Chalmers Thursday, he committed zero turnovers. While the rest of the Heat’s role players committed very little on offense, as I said before, Wade and James need at least one guy to step up a game. Game 5 was Shane Battier, game 6 they got it out of these 2 guys. Contributions from these guys are so huge, they just need to be more consistent.
Indiana Is S-O-F-T
Those are Larry Bird’s words not mine. Soft? Mentally I can agree with him. This is the 2nd game in a row where it seemed like the Pacers gave up. Wade posted up in the paint, nobody could stop him. Lebron started to warm up in the 2nd half, nobody wanted to guard him. Indiana’s roster is what it is. Young, no stars, and not a clear go to guy. So when Wade and Lebron start shoving their will to win down the Pacer’s throat, they folded. For a team this young being mentally soft is okay. Hibbert, Collison, George, they can all grow as players.
David West however is in his 9th year in the NBA. I understand he scored 24 points and was 10 for 16 from the field. But with a Miami front-court depleted of talent, 5 rebounds is a joke. West and “tough guy” Danny Granger were suppose to be their go to guys. Well at least West kind of showed up. Danny Granger seemed more interested in taking bad shots. What was amazing about Granger, he actually made some of them. Danny is probably the closest thing Indiana has to a superstar. So when the Heat went on runs to end the 2nd and pull away in the 3rd where was Granger? Indiana needed a guy Thursday to put a stop to these runs and keep their season alive. Their season is over and it looks like they still need “that” guy.
2 Man Show With Guest Stars
The jury is still out on the Chris Bosh return for the Eastern Conference Finals. Which means Wade and James will have to continue to carry the offensive burden for the Heat. Miami did get lucky(due) the last 2 games by actually getting contributions from their role players. It doesn’t matter who steps up for this team as the 3rd scorer, as long as someone does. The fear for the Heat will be when Wade or Lebron have a bad game. Does Mike Miller have a 25 point game left in his soul? I doubt it. Unless Miller, Battier, and Chalmers all step up at once, the big 2 can’t have an off night.
Eastern Conference Finals
I can smell it if you can. Lebron is 8 wins away from his first NBA title. Even though Philly would be an easier route to the finals than the Celtics, Lebron should be rooting for Boston. Skip Bayless only knows if it’s Philly and the Heat advance, it won’t be because of Lebron and the Heat. It will be because they played an 8th seed. As a basketball fan, I would like to see them match up with Boston(only if their motivated). More stars in the game and I am drooling at the chance of seeing Lebron guard Rondo.
Didn’t you read any of this? There is no game 7. My counterpart in covering this series, Jason Leung, could not make it to game 6. He was to busy finding groupies for me and the rest of the SCIC team(He is a rock star). So luckily for the groupies, with no game 7 it’s all play time in the Polar Bear Club.
Joseph Nardone is a Writer/Blogger for Sir Charles In Charge. He is also getting out of hand with links in articles. You can follow him on the twitter machine@JosephNardone