May 26, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6) drives to the basket against the Indiana Pacers in game four of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Pacers Defense Hasn't Done Its Job

Above is a good breakdown video of Game 4 from Coach Nick at BBall Breakdown. He highlights the turnovers and related offensive issues, which were certainly problematic. These are almost expected, however.

To me, the real disappointment and the worse failings by this team are coming on defense.

If you look at the final box score, Miami’s 46.4% shooting doesn’t look egregious. Especially since they only hit 8-of-24 (33.5) shots from behind the arc. Those aren’t the numbers we have come to expect from the Pacer defense, but they aren’t bad enough to make you think this game should be so lopsided.

Those stats are skewed by the fourth quarter though.

Through the first 35 minutes, after which Miami led 78-59, the Heat were shooting 51.0. In wins during the regular season, Indiana allowed its opponents to shoot just 40.1% — an insanely good number. Even in losses, they surrendered just 46.3%.

Yet Miami was scorching nets at 51.0% during the time Game 4 was competitive. The Heat made 57.1 (8-of-14) in the third quarter while they outscored the Pacers by 11 over 12 minutes.

You can look at the free-throw attempts all you want, but the Pacers are built on defense, and keeping the Heat’s shooting in check was the only way they were going to win this series.

Instead, a Heat offense that shot 50.1% in the regular season — which was by far the best in the league — has increased that to 50.7% in this series.

The Pacers needed to make the Heat miss shots to win. They haven’t done that in this series. And that’s why it will likely be over very soon.



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