May 30, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) is defended by Indiana Pacers shooting guard Lance Stephenson (1) in the fourth quarter of game five of the Eastern Conference finals of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Arena. The Heat won 90-79. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Playoffs 2013: Indiana Pacers Do or Die Tonight


Game six of the Eastern Conference Finals is an important one for the Pacers as they want to force a game seven. But I also feel like they want to show that they’ve come far along since last year, and the year before that. I think tonight could be a good way to see where the franchise is headed and what the Pacers will do from here on out.  Forcing that game seven would be a great step to get fans back aboard for the long haul. Coming out with that intensity that showed up in parts of this series needs to happen throughout tonight. The Pacers can’t afford to let those easy baskets go by the wayside like in game five.  They also can’t turn over the ball as much as they did.  There’s no doubt that when they turn the ball over 15 times, things aren’t going to end well.  The Heat are a great team that makes those turnovers count, and I believe tonight would be a huge night that they do that.

Playing at home should help out this Pacers team as they always show up better at home.  I think the backcourt of George Hill and Lance Stephenson really need to come through tonight.  Each getting to that 10-15 point range would be huge to take the pressure off Roy Hibbert and David West to score as much in the post.  Paul George will have his usual fill of defending Lebron James, but another big night from him would bode well for the Pacers.  Paul George will have to slow down Lebron James, and do his work on offense, but with the importance of tonight I believe he’ll step up to the task.

The fans will be loud and proud this evening, which should boost the morale of the Pacers.  That blue and gold swagger should make their appearance to take care of things against the Heat, and then you go into game seven like it’s just nothing.  Tonight, the Pacers have to come out and rebound hard.  Put in those easy baskets.  Keep the turnovers low or at least control the tempo of the game.  Show that formula that has worked for most of this series, and don’t let a third quarter happen like it did in game five.  If all those things are clicking, the Pacers should be there at the end with a win or at least a chance to win the game.  My only prediction for this one is a Pacers win. Whoever margin that is, I’m perfectly fine with it.

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