Join us as we share a 20* graded play on the Indiana Pacers as they take on the Miami Heat in Game 5 of this best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal matchup. Find out why we think that the Pacers can pull off the big road win.
The Heat, or should I more correctly state Lebron
james, defeated the Pacers in Game 4 to knot the series at two games apiece. LeBron James single-handedly carried the Heat to a must-win in Game 4, by doing
something in a playoff game that was only done once before in NBA history.
James now joins Elgin Baylor as the only two players in NBA playoff history to
have 40+ points, 18+ rebounds, and nine assists in a playoff game.
For Miami to win, it did require
James having a triple-double and he was just one assist short. This is one of
the few times that two is greater than eight. James and Wade combined for 70
points and outplayed the Pacers five starters and three bench players. However,
I do not see this happening again in Game 5, as it is easier to defend two
players with eight players than any other combination. This series is far from
Game 4 was won by Lebron finding
players on back cuts and his eight offensive rebounds. In the first three games
Indiana dominated the boards and James knew he had to attack the boards and try
to even out that advantage. However, without Bosh, the Heat are still at a
significant disadvantage on the boards and the Pacers can make the necessary
defensive adjustments to offset what Miami was able to accomplish in Game 4.
Chalmers has not played well for
the Heat and without Bosh in the lineup, the Heat lack any significant length
in the frontcourt. West and Hibbert have been the most consistent players for
Indiana in this series. In the fourth quarter with both on the bench, the
Pacers cut the Heat lead to two points and would have been the perfect time to
bring them both back into the game despite both of them having four fouls. That
management mistake will happen in Game 5 and this combination will limit and
minimize the Heat’s paint presence.
The Betting Public
Given how dominate James and Wade
were in their Game 4 win, the public will be all over the Heat and will expect
them to win this game and cover easily. The NBA odds opened with the Heat
installed as 7 ½ point favorites and I am expecting a movement toward 8 ½. My
suggestion is be patient with this line and monitor the flows and work an order
to get the Pacers at 8 ½. Even though I feel strongly that the Pacers can win
this game and the extra point will not be needed, it never hurts to manage the
betting flows to your benefit.
The Pacers Perimeter Game
The Pacers have a very strong
perimeter game that ranks 6th best in the NBA, making 36.2% of their three point
shot attempts. The Pacers are also very good at getting to the foul line, ranking
second in the NBA averaging 20.1 made free throw attempts made per game and ranking
third averaging 25.7 free throw shot attempts per game. The combination of
inside and outside strengths will be the dominant reason the Pacers can win this
Miami has not played consistently against teams like the Pacers, and they are just 22-37 ATS losing 18.7 units when facing solid
three point shooting teams making 36% or more of their attempts with the game
taking place in the second half of the season encompassing the last three
Take the Pacers as a 20* Titan Play.