NBA Playoffs 2013: Pacers Face a Must Win At Home


May 22, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat point guard Norris Cole (30) is called for fouling Indiana Pacers power forward David West (21) during the second half in game one of the Eastern Conference finals of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Arena. Miami wins in overtime 103-102. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Following a Lebron James show in the third quarter of Game 5 the Indiana Pacers were unable to close the gap and lost in Miami going down in the series 2-3.  As we head into Game 6 tonight in Indianapolis you might find yourself wondering what Indiana needs to do to secure a victory and force a Game 7.  Although there are many answers that would apply I believe that it is very simple.  Indiana needs to play the hard-nose, defensive oriented style of team basketball that won them each and every one of their games.  Not to mention that we need all of our key players to show up and make a contribution.

We will have the benefit of no Chris Anderson as he was suspended for a cheap shot he took at Tyler Hansbrough, which is something the Miami Heat players seem to be very fond of.

As a matter of fact, let me go off the subject for just a moment.  The Miami Heat may very well be the team to beat in the NBA, but let me point out that I find them to be lacking any form of decent sportsmanship and professionalism.  The fact that Lebron James consistently gets away with completely overreacting to the calls made by the officials when any other player would be quickly hit with a technical foul is sickening.  In addition, looking back to the airborne attack on Lance Stephenson committed by Dwayne Wade without a suspension leaves something to be desired as well.  If it were me I wouldn’t want a victory or a title knowing that I consistently got away with playing dirty.  If it is necessary to be physical why not achieve it the old fashioned way with a good hard foul or a physically imposing defense not blatantly cheap shots.

Getting back to the subject at hand the Pacers desperately need their backcourt to produce.  George Hill needs to command his offense and in order to do so whenever it is apparent that the Heat are trying to apply pressure by attempting to trap him with a double team it is up to his teammates to come to the ball quickly.  Making the extra pass is key to getting a good open look that does exist whenever one of the defenders is occupied with the ball handler.

Indiana has showed signs of resiliency in this series and I hope they are able to do so again this evening.  Our front court needs to repeat their performance from Game 5 plus some.  We need Stephenson to bring a controlled energy that he is capable of and for Hill to assert himself as our offensive conductor.  The game begins at 8:30 p.m. and should prove to be exciting.  Don’t be surprised when things “heat” up a bit more between the opponents.