My thoughts on Game 1 ended with a request for six more games like that. Usually, that’s an unrealistic expectation, but with the way these two teams match-up, it is highly possible. This series has me, and I would think any hoop fan with a pulse very excited. Here are my thoughts on the Pacers Game 2 win:
Heavy Is The Head: There is a strong contingent of NBA fans and media members that were waiting on LeBron James to fail in the clutch. He has not given them much to talk about until the end of Game 2. Despite scoring 36 points on an efficient 14-20 from the field and doing everything else to carry the Heat to the win, all that will be remembered is the two turnovers down the stretch. Both came with the Heat down by two and in position to tie the game. They were plays that as a superstar, you cannot make at the end of the game. LeBron even said that himself after the game. However, it was funny to see the contingency mentioned to start this thought get downright giddy on social networking sites. There is nothing wrong with acknowledging those mistakes, but also do not forget the fact that the game is not that close if not for him. It is a dichotomy that he brought on himself by anointing himself “King”, and working his way into being considered the best player in the world. There are people who will never acknowledge the good he does on the court, but speak vociferously when he makes mistakes. It is the life he chose, and I look forward to seeing how he responds in Game 3 Sunday night.
The Heat Is On: There are some Heat fans (aka people who would be Charlotte Bobcat fans if Bron played there) that are dismissing this Game 2 loss and treating it like they did the loss to the Bulls in their last series. They are sadly mistaken with that thought. The Bulls getting a split in Miami made for a cute story, but with all the injuries, and sickness, not many people thought the Bulls had a chance. The only way you can compare the feeling after the first two games against the Bulls to the first two games against the Pacers is if you are delusional. Granted, coming into the series, most people expected the Heat to win. Some even thought they would do it in short order. However, with Dwyane Wade playing average, their frontline struggling to defend Roy Hibbert, and David West and the Pacers showing no fear, I will not be shocked if the Pacers take both games in Indy. This season was supposed to easily be the second in the “Not 1, Not 2…” era, but the Pacers are applying pressure and it will be interesting to see how the Heat handle it.
Pacesetters- The Pacers got a split in Miami with solid team play. Roy Hibbert scored an efficient 29 on 10-15 from the field and is trying to make the back-to-the-basket center relevant again. David West did not have the great offensive game he had in Game 1, but still played a monster role with two steals on the LeBron James errant passes to seal the game. Lance Stephenson continued to play hard even though he sometimes displays baffling shot selection and poise that was comparable to my championship-winning Boys and Girls Club of Lansing 12 and under team. George Hill played a much better game scoring 18 points and knocking down the free throws to put the game away. Finally, Paul George continued his ascent into the NBA elite stratosphere with another great game. He knocked down big shots, did as good a job of defending LeBron one on one as a player can and did this to Chris Andersen(no nickname usage when you get put on a poster). This is a team that is working together well, brimming with confidence, and looking like they can put a stranglehold on this series in Indiana. They have proven that they can go on the road and play excellent ball. Now let’s see how that carries over at home. There can be no complacency, because the Heat will jump on that and get home-court advantage back.
There you have my thoughts on what was a thrilling Game 2. Here’s hoping that Game 3 lives up to the billing that the first two games set. Huge props to both teams for the effort and fight shown in Miami. It has been a pleasure to watch thus far.
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