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Indiana Pacers vs. Miami Heat: Observations and Ramblings

May 23rd 2012 21:36
I predicted a blood bath, I really did. Unfortunately my vision was the Heat beating down the Pacers to a pulp in four games. Didn’t happen, too much heart and pride from Indiana. Instead we have a series, a REAL playoff series with buzzer beaters, blowouts, and of course (what every GREAT playoff series needs) flagrant fouls and possible suspensions. Here are a few thoughts from what has turned out to be Indiana’s official coming out party as well as a second round gem for NBA fans.

The Killer Instinct
In retrospect, Game 1 was strange, with both teams feeling each other out. In Games 2 and 3 it was Indiana bringing it! Bringing it through defensive intensity and a sheer will of we are going to win this game. Then, as with great series, momentum shifted. Games 4 and 5 have shown the Heat with ferocious defense and confidence to put the Pacers away. It always start with defense, has to occur regardless of who is on the floor, and often shifts from game to game. Is there one more momentum shift left in this series? Stay tuned.

The Revenge Foul
Earlier in the series Lance Stephenson made a “choking” gesture at LeBron James during a foul shot attempt. Forward to Game 5: Pat Riley casually walks over to the Heat bench and slips a piece of paper to Dexter Pittman. The note reads simply: LANCE. Riley vanishes, Pittman burns the note and does what he is told (flagrantly fouling Lance Stephenson as any good soldier would do). Is there another way this could have happened? I can’t think of any.

Game 6 Importance
Granted, most important is to win the present series, regardless of how or when. However, with both the Heat and Boston Celtics looking to win their series in 6 games, rest becomes important. Both are playing short-handed and one extra day of rest could play a role in Game 1. Should the Heat and Pacers go seven games will we get to hear Pat Riley’s locker room speech? Will Larry Bird talk to the team or just walk past his bench and look into their eyes. We’ve all heard Riley’s speeches, but Larry Bird eye contact? Chilling!

David S. Grant is the author of “BLOOD: The New Red”, follow David on Twitter @david_s_grant

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