3 Reasons why Indiana Pacers lost in crushing fashion to Miami Heat

The Indiana Pacers suffered a brutal loss to the Miami Heat on Thursday night, and here are three reasons why.
Indiana Pacers, Miami Heat, Buddy Hield
Indiana Pacers, Miami Heat, Buddy Hield / Megan Briggs/GettyImages
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1. Missed free throws

This has been a topic I have covered quite a few times before, in wins and in losses. Despite being the league's best offensive team and showing it in their scoring numbers, the Pacers seemingly cannot make free throws, especially down the stretch.

It does not take much investigating to see evidence of this, as Indiana only made 21 of 32 free throws on the night at a percentage of 65.6% compared to the Miami Heat's 38 of 45 (84.4).

While it is true that Miami did have the better whistle, with Jimmy Butler alone getting to the line 20 times, more than any two Pacers combined, that does not excuse why Indiana missed so many of the opportunities they did get.

When the Pacers were missing free throws in the first half, it didn't seem like much of a deal, especially since they only missed three, going 12 for 15. However, this issue really exposed itself in the second half, as the Pacers went nine for 17, including five for nine in the fourth quarter, missing some momentum-crushing ones near the end of the game as Tyrese Haliburton tried to claw the team back into the game.

Missed free throws from Bruce Brown and Tyrese Haliburton in the final 30 seconds, which would have cut the lead to five, erased any hopes of a Pacers comeback, and pretty much ensured that Indiana would be walking out with a loss.

While the Pacers have been relatively middle of the pack this season in free throw percentage, ranking 13th in the league and shooting 78.7%, they have still had issues making them in certain games, and it has definitely cost them some easier victories.

On Thursday, their issues finally caught up to them, and they missed far too many, almost directly leading to a loss. Remember, Indiana missed exactly 11 free throws on the night and lost to Miami by 10 points.