Yes, Lebron and Bosh are going off right now combining for 32 of the Heat’s 49 points. Lance Stephenson and Roy Hibbert have 3 fouls apiece and sat chunks of time on the bench in the first half. But somehow, the Pacers are only down by 5. If Paul George and David West keep rolling and Wade struggles, Indiana can steal this one but a lot has to go right. At the point guard position George Hill needs to make a presence shown and CJ Watson must facilitate when he comes off the bench . The X factor for the Pacers in the second half will be Lance Stephenson, his defense, attitude and physical play will help power the Pacers moving forward in this game. Indiana needs to get to the free throw line and get some key Miami players in foul trouble. Most importantly, of they can keep Bosh and Wade at bay and contain LeBron somewhat they can steal this one.
INDIANA (1) VS. ATLANTA(8)
season series 2-2
Interesting first round matchup we have here with recently poor playing but somewhat rejuvenated Indiana Pacers going head to head against final eighth seed Atlanta Hawks. The recent slide from the Indiana Pacers was seen by many as a quick shot to put them out of contention for the conference finals rematch with the Heat. They did go 9-13 in their last 22 games which is pretty poor for a team that was running away with the 1 seed for quite some time. They showed up against an elite OKC Thunder team at home and shut them down toward the stretch. What did not give them any reassurance was that loss by 12 to Miami last week. This team has unbelievable team chemistry and talent, they just have players like Paul George who can be a leader but he has been in purgatory all year trying to become elite player but in my opinion has not proven so just yet. Let’s focus our attention to a Hawks team that might be able to give a difficult matchup to the Pacers. The Hawks just recently beat out the mediocre Knicks for a chance to play in the playoffs. Many people would and TV ratings would probably want to see the Knicks and Carmelo Anthony against Indiana. Personally though, the Knicks would have been a terrible team to matchup with the Pacers even though Indiana is not playing its greatest hoops as of now. The Hawks give the Pacers trouble on the inside with players like Paul Millsap who is a 20 ten kinda night guy on most nights. Paul has a good midrange and even three point game and 15 feet in he is lethal as well. He can dish to shooters like DeMarre Carroll and marksman Kyle Korver. A couple bench players like Elton Brand, who is a seasoned playoff veteran, and Mike Scott add some more size and scoring from the bench.. Point guard Jeff Teague will need to play near perfect in this series and limit his turnover ratio. His ability to score is key but he is not a Derrick Rose 30 a night possible player. Teague will need to pass the ball and look for his outside shooters like Carroll and Korver. If Indiana’s offense continues to deteriorate i can see this going 6 maybe 7.