Post-Game Grades: Pacers Outplayed Late by Heat, Lose Game 2 and Home-Court Advantage

The Good: That part when Lance Stephenson turned into Thor for the entire third quarter. It felt like he made every play.

The Bad: Indiana started the game strong offensively but then fell into a pit of despair that was as bad as anything we saw during The Struggle. For the final 18 minutes of the half (Lance’s 0.1 second tip-in excluded), they shot 8-for-30 (26.7%). Some offensive boards helped in the sense that it gave the Pacers long possessions and kept Miami from having as many looks, but the FGA advantage (30 to Miami’s 21) didn’t add much to the scoreboard. Indiana got 8 offensive boards on those 22 misses, but only managed 3 second-chance points somehow. Just abject misery.

The last few minutes of the game were rough as well. The Pacers were outscored 15-8 in the final 5 minutes as LeBron and Dwyane dismantled their defense, making 6-of-8 shots. Shame on the Pacers, sure, but sometimes Hall of Famers are just gonna Springfield.

MVP: LeBron and Wade. Who could chose? They collectively scored 22 of the Heat’s 25 fourth-quarter points, and Dwyane was just a beast all night. LeBron was lackluster in the first half and again played some awful D, but the King took over when it mattered.

LVP: Luis Scola. He really probably shouldn’t be on the court anymore. I get that the big man rotation is suspect and Frank Vogel doesn’t want to yield the size advantage, but Scola was blowing open looks and obviously bringing negative stuff to the table on D.

X-Factor: Norris Cole. He scored 11 points off the bench, and credit Erik Spoelstra for going with him over Mario Chalmers for all 12 minutes of the fourth quarter. Cole didn’t produce a ton in the period (nobody did save LeBron and Wade), but he was steady and solid as Miami secured a win.

Miami Heat 87 Final
Recap | Box Score
83 Indiana Pacers
David West, PF 34 MIN | 5-16 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 10 PTS | +6

Couldn’t make much. Hard to be upset at his looks though, and it was he and Lance running the pick and roll in the 3rd quarter that nearly gave Indiana enough of a boost to pull away a bit.

Paul George, SF 43 MIN | 4-16 FG | 4-6 FT | 5 REB | 6 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 14 PTS | -1

Really took a lot of bad shots. He was probably concussed late in the game, but there were many forced looks before that. Still, his worst work came on his late defensive lapses and his fourth-quarter TOs, but the guy says he blacked out and was walking around the court “blurry” for most of the period. So let’s go easy on the criticism for that time.

Roy Hibbert, C 41 MIN | 5-9 FG | 2-2 FT | 13 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 12 PTS | +3

Really protected the rim well early, and owned the offensive glass.

George Hill, PG 40 MIN | 5-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 13 PTS | +3

Per usual, he blended into the background for long stretches, but he also make some really big plays, including two fourth quarter treys. Liked his defense.

Lance Stephenson, SG 44 MIN | 10-17 FG | 3-5 FT | 6 REB | 7 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 25 PTS | 0

You ever see that movie Limitless? He reminded me of that.

Luis Scola, PF 11 MIN | 1-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -6


Ian Mahinmi, C 6 MIN | 0-0 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 1 PTS | -8


C.J. Watson, PG 13 MIN | 0-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | -13


Rasual Butler, SG 8 MIN | 2-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | -4

There he is. The only Pacer to score for the first 6 minutes of the second quarter, hitting two triples.

Tags: Indiana Pacers

  • disqus_atlq8Zmtsd

    The Pacers should feel good going forward knowing that they left some points on the court, but at the same time they should recognize that Miami can also shape up on defense. It is kind of the same outlook Miami probably had after game 1.

  • Earl Malmsteen

    I really hope PG is OK. Head injuries are no joke. Aside from a couple times falling asleep late, he was excellent on D. Most of his offensive struggles seemed to come in the first half (he was like 1-11 or something at half). Just couldn’t buy one.

    One other thing I have been thinking on PG – he’s got to be one of the worst finishers I can remember for such a good, athletic player. When he gets out on the break or gets what should be a huge mismatch, he still isn’t at the point yet where you can count on him getting a bucket or getting to the line. His go-to move seems to be an awkward slow-down Euro-step thing and a weak layup vs. guys like Kawhi Leonard or Durant will dunk it in your face if you don’t hack them strong across the arms. Hopefully that is something he can add to his game in the next year or two.

    Agree with all the grades (esp. Hibbert who really kept them in the game tonight on the boards), but West missed a lot of bunnies tonight. Against MIA 5-16 is not going to cut it at all for a guy who needs to be winning his matchup on the offensive end.

    Despite the loss, this series has been fun to watch and will only get better. Despite it not always being pretty, both teams are bringing out better versions of each other than have been on display in the playoffs to date. Got my popcorn ready for Game 3 already.

    • disqus_atlq8Zmtsd

      We might be seeing more intense Miami, but I don’t think we’re seeing better far this series. Bosh had shot 50% from 3 up until this point. Now he is clunking them off the side of the back board.

      I second hoping PG is ok. Makes you wanna smack him upside the head for trying to play through it.

  • Ian

    I don’t entirely agree with the analysis here. I think the Pacers outplayed Miami for most of the game. It was Wade’s brilliance combined with the Pacers unable to make open shots much of the game. The effort was there. The execution of the offense was there for most of the game except for the last few minutes.

    I am unclear as to why Wade was not called for a foul on PG on the play that resulted in a concussion. First he yanked him on the arm, then came barreling over him. Obviously the kick to the head was not intentional (though with Wade you never know) but still, he went through PG to try and get the ball.

    If the Pacers can generate the same effort in Miami I have no doubt they’ll take one there. The concussion is really concerning obviously, as well as the horrible play of the bench all around (Except for Butler). I agree, it’s time to abandon Scola. This is not a Hibbert situation. Scola is not likely to play his way out of being slow and old. Scola has killed us the last two games.

    Wade was 6 of 10 on contested shots, after going 9 /15 in game one. He’s just been making everything. Biggest problem was the Pacers shot 41.2% on UNCONTESTED shots, while the Heat shot 58.1%.

    • disqus_atlq8Zmtsd

      As far as the Wade/George collision goes: The arm grab is a foul, but that sort of thing just doesn’t get called in loose ball situations like it should be. When George dove for the ball, he drifted to the right (probably because of the arm grab) which resulted in the contact with the knee and wiped Wade out before he could jump over George.

      The initial arm grab was a clear foul that doesn’t get called, and the collision is the sort of thing that just happens when you go to the floor. Players all the time bounce over each other and end up in piles in those situations. I don’t know how many jump balls in scrums are really OBVIOUS fouls that aren’t ever called.

      I think the Heat did a good job of making Indiana’s uncontested looks more difficult. Passes were thrown a little more off balance and more closely contested. This led to tough catches that had to be realigned with the basket before the shot could be fired. Guys were often one step further out than they wanted to be, and they were often still moving at the catch.

      In short, Indiana had to match Miami’s increased intensity by running their offensive motions just a little faster than they were comfortable with. Out of rhythm uncontested shots under the threat of a hard closeout are often just as difficult as in rhythm shots with a hand in your face.

  • Jack Wright

    Forget about Hibbert… The true collapse on this team has been Scola.