Last night’s game was the best playoff game this year for the Indiana Pacers. Even being down 9 after the first quarter, you could see a run in this team, and boy did they put it together after halftime.
The Pacers did come out firing early on in this game and had a lead of nine points, but then the Miami Heat did what they could to grab the momentum and ended the first quarter with the nine point lead at 26-17.
But things turned back around in the Pacers favor, and turned around for good. The Pacers amped up their defense and finally hit some shots. The crowd was rocking and that really helped propel the Pacers past the Heat in that second quarter as things were all tied up at 41.
The third quarter was the breakout quarter here, which is just something the Pacers seem to do each game they win. Coach Frank Vogel must have some good halftime speech or makes the right adjustments at half because this Pacers team put together a third quarter that saw them put up 26 points compared to the Heat’s 12 points. That’s right, the Heat, with two of the top players in the NBA, only put up 12 points in that third quarter.
Let’s talk about the stars of the Heat for a minute and see what kind of game they had. Well, Lebron James in the first half looked like he was his old self as he had 16 points at halftime, and was able to get baskets in the lane, when he wanted.
But his counterpart, Dwayne Wade was shut out in the first half. The Pacers really put the clamps on his and he couldn’t make anything, and really just looked out of it. Even as the game wore on, something seemed off. There was even a point where he started jawing with the Heat coach, and things were looking bad for this Heat team.
Mario Chalmers did step up his game in this one for the Heat, but it wasn’t enough. The Heat had no answers for Roy Hibbert, who had his breakout game of the playoffs and possibly his career so far. He was scoring at will down in the block for 19 points and seemed to have his hands around all the rebounds as he grabbed a career high 18 rebounds.
The Pacers got production out of Danny Granger as well with his 17 points on better shooting. David West got himself 14 points. George Hill was able to put up 20 points and looked to be in control of this team at times. Paul George was the only start without double figures, but he did have 9 points, and was playing great defense at times.
That’s the story of this game as the Pacers routed the Miami Heat, their defense was just impressive. You felt like they were getting right in the face of the Heat after the first quarter where Mario Chalmers was driving to the lane and dropping a couple of baskets.
That third quarter is the story here as the Pacers made the right adjustments, and if coach of the year was voted on again, I would believe Frank Vogel would win it because he out coached Erik Spoelstra.
Now these teams meet again on Sunday, which seems like forever away, and it would be nice to play again on Saturday with the momentum the Pacers have right now. But come Sunday, if the Pacer can get anywhere close to this effort, they’ll walk away with the 3-1 edge, and boy people should be talking Pacers after that.