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.
|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.