Keys To The Pacers Beating The Heat

Keys To The Pacers Knocking Off The Heat

5/14/12 in NBA   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

Mar 24, 2012; Milwaukee, WI, USA;  Indiana Pacers guard Darren Collison (2) during the game against the Milwaukee Bucks at the Bradley Center.  The Pacers defeated the Bucks 125-104.  Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIREAnother advantage that the Pacers COULD have is at the point guard position. Neither Darren Collison nor George Hill have put up very good numbers consistently this season, but they both have the ability to make a large impact on the game. Darren Collison, who averaged 4.8 assists per game, is wildly inconsistent with his production. He often had games where his assists would be near 10, but also had many contests in which he'd have one or none. He needs to find his game and maintain it during this series, as he can push the ball very well and give the Heat a taste of their own medicine in transition. George Hill earned the trust of Gregg Popovich in just his second year, a rare feat. If Pop trusts you, you can ball. Hill had a weak regular season for the most part, but in his last 9 games of the regular season he averaged 13.9 points and 5.3 assists. He could be a difference maker if he can get that production against the Heat. If Darren Collison and George Hill step it up, the Pacers will have a nice advantage over the improved, but still very mediocre Mario Chalmers.

The loss of Chris Bosh is big. He kept the game close in the first half on Sunday. The Heat are calling him "out indefinitely" rather than "day to day," which usually implies he could miss significant time. Without Bosh, the Heat are missing their tallest front court regular. The biggest impact Bosh's absence will have, however, is that without his perimeter shooting ability, Pacer bigs can stay at home in the paint, closing lanes for LeBron and company. Yeah I know, LeBron and Wade cooked up the Pacers' defense without Bosh in Game 1, but it'll be a different story when Frank Vogel (my personal coach of the year) has some time to set up a game plan to slow those two down.

Despite what I said above, I'm still picking the Heat to win this series. I mean, who wouldn't? Skip and Stephen A. are on national TV arguing about if the Pacers will even win a single game. I do believe, however, that IF the Pacers can get these things done (with the addition of steady, solid play out of guys like David West and Paul George), they will push this series to Game 7. And who knows, when Game 7 comes around it just might come down to if Granger can be THE man in crunch time (because we all know LeBron can't).
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