May 15, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Indiana Pacers power forward David West (left) greets point guard Darren Collison (right) during the second half in game two of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Miami Heat of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Arena. Pacers won 78-75. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

Indiana Pacers Can Take a 2-1 Edge

With the way on Tuesday night, this Pacers team should feel confident about their ability to win game three and get some control of the series.  This would be a great win in front of the home crowd, and hopefully build toward Sunday’s game four.  But there are things that need to happen for the Pacers to take control.  Feel free to check out the winning formula for more ways the Pacers can win this game.

1.  Play a complete game-  As we saw in game two, the second half was better than the first half.  Offensively, the Pacers hit a huge funk between the first and second quarters, where they couldn’t make any shots.  Things got better, but still putting up 78 points won’t win much against the Heat unless…

2.  Keep up the defensive intensity-  Truly what helped keep the Pacers in that game was the defense. They were down five points at halftime, but it felt like it could have been over 10 and possibly close to 20.  But staying right there within single digits really helped boost the team to come out in that third quarter and double up the Heat in scoring.

3.  Hit the late free throws-  This almost could go for both sides as I believe the stat was 5-14 at the end of the game for free throw shooting.  The Pacers make some of theirs, and the game is over earlier.  The Heat make some of theirs and they have control of that game late.  The guys who can make free throws need to hit them.

4.  Keep pounding the ball inside-  Early on in game two, Roy Hibbert got some great looks and hit a couple of baskets.  But the Pacers seemed to stop going to him.  Now they did look for David West, and he was able to take advantage of Lebron James on him a couple of times.  But I would think the Pacers want to keep exploiting that advantage they have in the post.

5.  Play the whole game-  This comes up again, so I can finish my thought from the first point.  But the Pacers played such great defense throughout the game, which is what ultimately won the game.  But having this game at home, and with the crowd support that should be there, it’s important to come out and play the whole game through.  No offensive lulls, no defensive breakdowns, but playing the team game that we fans know the Pacers can do.

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