This morning I tuned in to #NBAonTNT in revision of last night’s Pacer-Heat matchup.
Let’s begin with the Pacers
David West, Roy Hibbert, Paul George, and George hill shot a dismal 34% from the field and attempted just 7 free throws among the four starters. It’s not quite fair to evaluate Danny Granger into this mix just because he was injured in the third quarter.
This is certainly not enough production at least from the starters standpoint.
Collectively the Pacers shot a shade under 34% as well from the field, making 30 of 89 attempts and this certainly needs to be addressed in the upcoming game 6 back in Conseco Fieldhouse.
In such a matchup, it was more of the starters against starters battle as both the Pacers’ and Heat’s 2nd unit scored 35 and 34 points respectively.
Besides tremendous production from two of the big three, the battle on the glass was also won by the Miami heat grabbing 49 boards as opposed to 35 rebounds by the Pacers.
If you look back at the victory by the Pacers back in Game 3, besides Hibbert’s double double, the story was clearly the rebounding. Yes, one would argue that the Heat stars had an off night, but many of those instances by those two were solely their personal mistake committing a collective 9 turnovers.
Aside from Lebron and Wade, all the other matchups including the 4, 5 should be exploited in favour of the Pacers. Yes Shane is a pretty good charge taker and perimeter defender. But that matchup can certainly be taken advantage of because I think that Hansborough (if he were to be guarded by Shane) would have much more size and would therefore have a tendency to draw fouls. With that being said, I really hope Danny Granger is alright with that rolled ankle as we will see gametime come Thursday. Granger if he were to come back has more foot speed to contend against Battier and should therefore call for some sets to be run for him.
The 5 being Ronny Turiaf and probably Joel Anthony as they lack a definite center on this Heat team can also be exploited. He is not known for a tremendous defensive presence in protection of that painted area. As well, despite Ronny being a good “hedger” for a lack of better word on the pick and roll, the high screen is something that can be effective against him to exploit that matchup once they get the switch with Hibbert and Hill or Collison. Of course no one can forget the Heat duo as they bring an active weakside help. Nonetheless, they are for sure going to key in once that penetration becomes a norm off that pick and roll and the 1-to-5 matchup gets exploited. With Wade and Lebron coming from the weakside for help, the Pacers can kick it out to shooters (and this particular 3 point shooter aspect is what I think Larry Bird should look at to build around West and Hibbert in this upcoming offseason).
(An aside, the flagrant action was just bogus. In the first flagrant 1 called against Hansborough, I don’t disagree with that. There certainly was definite contact on Wade at the head despite Tyler’s initial momentum as going for the basketball. However, the next two flagrant fouls against both Haslem and Pittman were ones that the league should look at with severe seriousness as these types of actions should not be at all tolerated no matter what stakes are being played in these games. Physicality is one thing, but hurting people is another. There was clearly zero intent on both Haslem and Pittman’s part for going for the basketball, and in fact there was clear evidence to show the players were the targets in those horrid actions. Why the officials didn’t call either a flagrant 2 is beyond me. I trust the league office will do what is right in order to bring justice and fairness for the Pacers.
And lastly, on Granger’s part of the “stupid” physical play as Lebron labels it, or the trash talk or what have you, just play basketball, please. Enough with this bogus back and forth stuff between Danny and Lebron or Wade. Same with Dahntay Jones. Just play the game, as simple as that. Karma will come back to bite you just as it did for Granger.)