The Indiana Pacers will face the Miami Heat in the playoffs for the second year in a row, last year was in round two, this time they’ll face in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Heat won 4-2 in a competitive series last year but this year the Pacers hope for the outcome to be different. In order for that to happen here are some things the Pacers must do.
Get offensive rebounds
I know you hear this all the time but it’s true, the Miami Heat are a fairly small team. Because the Heat use Bosh at the 5 for a majority of the time they can give up quite a few offensive rebounds. The Pacers lead the NBA in offensive rebounds in these playoffs so far with 12.7 per game, with Roy Hibbert averaging an amazing 4.6 offensive rebounds per game.
Take care of the ball
I don’t know any time that is better are converting live ball turnovers into points than the Heat, they are just amazing on the break. They are able to get live ball turnovers because the wing defenders play so aggressively and are really good at trapping. The Pacers struggle with taking care of the ball, so they need to avoid giving the Heat these kind of easy points if you are going to defeat them.
Get something from the bench
We all know the Pacers bench is awful, sporting a -49 +\- when one of the starting 5 aren’t in the game but the Pacers are going to need something from the bench. Augustin, who is going to have to deal with the pressure and traps Miami is going to throw at him, is going to have to make threes when he comes in and another bench player whether it’s Gerald Green, who has pretty much found his way out of the rotation for a number or reasons, or it’s another back up is going to have to come up huge in a game or two.
Another thing to look at is how the Pacers go about the defensive matchups, normally they’d likely throw Paul George on LeBron James, but I think they’d be better suited using George on Dwyane Wade.My thinking is that James is going to do LeBron James things no matter who you put on him, but Wade is banged up and this is your chance to pretty much take him out of the series, plus guarding James is going wear George down and get him in foul trouble two things I’m sure the Pacers don’t want. Another thing to watch is how they call the fouls at the rim, last series they gave Hibbert the benefit with the calls when he went straight up let’s see if he gets the same benefits. Regardless this should be a really good series that hopefully goes to seven games.