(Photo Courtesy of Pacers.com)
Game 7 between the Indiana Pacers and the Miami Heat is on Monday at 8:30pm. The Pacers are 3-7 on the road, they are known for their road struggles, so can they pull it off? Here’s what I believe are the keys to their success down in South Beach.
– Turnovers are a huge problem for the Pacers, they like to commit dumb turnovers, especially unforced. Limit turnovers and keep Miami out of transition
Get into offensive sets early
– Another problem that the Pacers have is that they take too long to set up their offence. Miami plays great pressure defence in the back court, they like the point guard to have the ball to start the play, but usually take 5 seconds in the back court to get the ball to Hill. Who ever is open, should just bring the ball up the court and start the play, they been playing with each other all year, they should know where each other has to be on the floor.
Early post ups
– They need to get the ball into the post early. Miami will definitely trap Hibbert and West in the post so getting the ball down low early and quick is a must. Also have spacing to force the refs to call a defensive 3-second call. Early post ups with quick double teams will lead to open 3’s, they also must hit outside shots to open up the game
Keep Miami out of transition
– Force them to play in the half court and limit double teams on the perimetre. Miami’s offence thrives off double teams because they space the floor with shooters, can’t get Ray Allen and Mike Miller going.
Keep Birdman off the glass, Close out Haslem
– These two are Miami’s Ex-Factors, Birdman is coming off a suspension so he will be extra hyped, and Haslem has been hitting on corner jumpers. Gotta stay with the basics to limiting them with offensive rebounds and hustle plays. It’s a game 7, gotta play with a ton of heart and hustle.
Indiana’s Starting Back Court
– They have to show up, no ifs and or buts. George Hill and Lance Stephenson are the ones who can get out in transition and get easy buckets for Indiana. They have to impact the game in big ways. George Hill will have to shoot the 3 well, and Lance has to be the pesky player he’s known for. Paul George, David West and Hibbert will have impact regardless, but the back court MUST show up for Indiana to have any chance of advancing to the finals.
Gotta lay it all out on the floor Monday night, I’m expecting the starters to play heavy minutes. The Pacers were built for the playoffs and are the only team this season that is capable of knocking off the Miami Heat, and to do that they just have to keep their composure, execute well, and limit their turnovers, as well as out score Miami and it can be done!!