Checking in game 6 of Indiana against Miami.
The first two buckets here by Indiana is already something positive. All four points were committed in the paint by David West. This is something that the Pacers need to establish early as well as running their offense through West and Hibbert in the paint. Both players need to catch that basketball deep in the low post because that is really where they are effective at.
As we take a quick timeout going to commercial break, the Pacers are definitely responding to Larry Bird’s comment about their soft play in the prior game that led to the blowout defeat back in American Airlines Arena. The execution for the Pacers is very crisp. What I would like to see is hard cuts by both Granger and George with good tough screens leading to those cuts.
The Miami Heat have limited legitimate inside presence as they miss the bigs of Bosh, Haslem, and Pittman. With limited inside presence, offensively, they have problems because they cannot count on the Dynamic Duo getting 40 and 30 every night. Who is going to step up for them? Defensively, Battier has been exploited numerous times in here with 3:44 left in the first quarter.
Offensively, the Pacers like I mentioned before will need to run their offense through their bigs with hard weakside cuts from (Paul) George and Granger. Yes they are decent spot up shooters but I see their effectiveness rise when attacking the basket. Defensively, they need to contain the Duo collectively because no one can really establish single coverage. James and Wade are both good examples for George and Granger in making those cuts towards the basket. On defense however, the help has to be there early as well as the correct rotation.
First quarter ends great start for the Indiana Pacers, but they do need to be more focused on taking care of the ball. They have 6 turnovers up to now which are not a result of Miami’s defense, just their own personal mishandles.
Despite their costly turnovers in the first half, the Indiana Pacers were in the game with a two point lead going into the half. However, as the second half comes along, for some reason they had gone away from their offensive plans – going inside. Maybe that’s because of a lack of confidence in pitching the ball inside as the Miami Heat keyed in defensively on David West. But that’s no reason to go away from your offensive game plan. They need to learn from the Lakers when Phil Jackson was the headmaster of the triangle offense, the ball reversal if and when Bynum was keyed in defensively was executed with ease. That’s exactly what the Pacers should do. They should reverse the ball, set some screens off the ball for David West to come around on the curl to the low block whether it’s the right or left side. When West does get the ball in those areas however, he seems to lack confidence to go up aggressively into the heart of the defense and elects to kick the ball out back to the perimeter and by that time, they were already in the short shot clock situation with 5 seconds or less. With missed perimeter shots, there are long rebounds, and five Miami Heat players keyed in on grabbing that rebound, where are the Pacers? You absolutely cannot just rely on David West to pickup those rebounds, it’s a 5 on 1 battle down there. Overall, the Pacers execution was poor, they forced a lot of passes which led to a total of 22 turnovers so far which led to 26 points.
Defensively, the weakside rotations are coming way too slowly. With that being said, there is no reason the Heat cannot win in what looks like a Miami victory in Game 6.