This will probably sound like a broken record, but you can tell what the Pacers can do to put themselves in a great position to win after five games. There’s not much they could change or fix at this moment since it’s down to the wire now. It’s important to go out there and play with everything on the line, and try to get the things that worked in games one through three and use those to win this game.
1. Don’t Retaliate- At any moment where a foul is perceived with any intent, there’s going to be a flagrant called, so the Pacers have to be careful about that, and know they can’t go out there with revenge on their mind. The best revenge would be to go out and win this game and force game seven.
2. Start out hot and finish hot- With this game being at home for the Pacers, a fast start to the game and getting that crowd energized could do wonders for them. It would be key to keep that momentum going as well. But I think this one goes down to the wire, so finishing the game hot would be fantastic.
3. Defend Better- Stopping Lebron and Wade isn’t going to happen with the way they’ve been playing. But the Pacers did slow them down a bit in the earlier games, so they have to get back to that type of defense. Make them pass the ball and make other guys beat you.
4. Be Confident- I’m a huge fan of body language and how that plays into a person. You can tell this team tends to get down on themselves when they’re missing some shots and not looking good. It’s important to keep the confidence high, so they can always look to make those shots and make sure they’re invested in the game.
5. Controlled Intensity- This was a point I made the last game, and I think it’s even more important with this one because it could get physical. That Heat team might try to get more physical to ruffle the feathers. Just like Tyler Hansbrough stepped away after getting hacked by Udonis Haslem, the Pacers need to be that way tonight. If there’s a hard foul, move on and hit the free throws. If there’s some calls not coming, move on and play defense. If the Pacers can control their emotions, they’ll be fine tonight.