2013 NBA Playoffs – Eastern Conference Finals Game #3
#1 Miami Heat at #3 Indiana Pacers
Best of Seven Series Tied 1-1
Sunday, May 26, 2013, 8:35 pm Eastern, TV: TNT
Bankers Life Fieldhouse – Indianapolis, Indiana
Opening Line: Miami -1
Current Line: Miami -1 1/2
Opening Total: 183 1/2
Current Total: 181
Opening Money Line: Heat -125 / Pacers +105
Current Money Line: Heat -125 / Pacers +105
Memorial Day weekend is always a huge weekend in Indianapolis because of the Indy 500. You can add even more excitement now that the Indiana Pacers are playing in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat. The #3 seeded Pacers earned a hard fought split in Miami over the #1 seeded Heat. Now, the series shifts to Indiana for games 3 and 4. In keeping with the Indianapolis 500 theme, the Pacers will hand out t-shirts that will create a checkered flag appearance in the crowd.
In game one of this series, Miami escaped with a 103-102 overtime victory on a LeBron James driving lay-up at the buzzer. In game 2 Friday night, the Pacers jumped out to a 13 point lead just before halftime. In the third quarter Mimai would fight back to tie it 3 times, but could never take the lead. The Heat would finally take the lead in the fourth, going up 88-84 with 6:09 to play. However, the Heat would only score 5 more points for the rest of the game. In fact, Miami only scored 2 points in the last 3:31 of the game. James was brilliant for Miami for 47 minutes but he had two ghastly turnovers in the last minute of the game that basically cost the Heat the game. However, it should be said Miami wouldn’t even have been in a position to win if not for James excellent play. The Pacers would hold on for the 97-93 win. The Pacers also won game #2 in last year’s Eastern Conference Semifinal series against the Heat to earn a split on the road. Indiana won game 3 at home in that series to take a 2-1 lead. Miami would go on to win the series in six hard fought games.
James had 36 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals. Chris Bosh had 17 points, and 5 rebounds. Dwyane Wade had 14 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists. While the Big Three all contributed, no other Heat player had more than 7 points. All five Pacer starters scored in double digits. Center Roy Hibbert had 29 points and 10 rebounds. Forward Paul George had 22 points and 6 assists. he and Warriors’ guard Stephen Curry have become the breakout superstars of this year’s playoffs. Point guard George Hill had 18 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists,and 3 steals. Forward David West had 13 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 assists. Guard Lance Stephens0n had 10 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals. The Pacer bench only scored 5 points in game 2.
Miami is coached by Eric Spoelstra. The Heat are 51-41 ATS this season and the total is 46-43-2. Miami is outscoring teams 103-95 this season. The Heat are #5 in scoring and in points allowed. Miami is shooting 49.6% from the field and 39.6% from 3 point range. The Heat lead the league in field goal shooting and are #2 in 3 point shooting. Miami makes 75.4% of their free throws. The Heat are last in the league in rebounding at 38.6 per game, and fourth in rebounds allowed with 40.1. Miami opponents are shooting 44% from the field and 35% from 3 point range. Miami is 11th or better in both categories. The Heat average 23 assists, 8.7 steals, 5.4 blocks, and 13.3 turnovers per game.
In the playoffs, forward LeBron James is averaging 24 points, 7.3 rebounds, 7.3 assists, and 1.7 steal per game. He won his fourth MVP award. Guard Dwyane Wade is averaging a playoff career low 13 points, 4.8 rebounds, 5.4 assists, and 1.9 steals per game. He is battling a bruised knee that won’t heal until the offseason. Forward/center Chris Bosh averages 13.2 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 2 blocks per game. Guard Ray Allen averages 12.2 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 1.4 assists. Point guard Mario Chalmers averages 7 points, 2.6 rebounds, 4.1 assists, and 1.1 steals per game. Chalmers bruised his shoulder in game #1 but played in game 2. The breakout star of the playoffs for Miami has been Norris Cole. The point guard is averaging 8.8 points a game. Forward Shane Battier averages 5.6 points and 2 rebounds. Rashard Lewis, Udonis Haslem, Mike Miller, and Chris Andersen make up the rest of the rotation.
Indiana is coached by Frank Vogel. The Pacers are 52-43 ATS and the total is 46-47-2 this season. The Pacers are outscoring teams 95-91 this season. Indiana is second in the league in points allowed and #23 in scoring. The Pacers are shooting 43.6% from the field and 34.7% from 3 point range. Indiana is 22nd or worse in both categories. The Pacers make 74.6% of their free throws. Indiana leads the league in rebounding at 45.8 per game, and are #8 in rebounds allowed at 40.9. Indiana opponents are shooting 42% from the field and 32.7% from 3 point range. The Pacers lead the league in both categories. Indiana averages 20.3 assists, 7.2 steals, 6.3 blocks, and 14.5 turnovers.
In the playoffs, forward Paul George is averaging 19.1 points, 8.3 rebounds, 5 assists, and 1.8 steals per game. Point guard George Hill is averaging 15.6 points, 4.4 assists, and 4.2 rebounds. He missed game 5 against the Knicks with a concussion but did play in game 6. Forward David West is averaging 15.5 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game. He is probable with a lower leg injury. Center Roy Hibbert is averaging 14 points, 9.6 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game. He is probable with a thumb injury. Lance Stephenson, Gerald Green, D.J. Augustin, and Tyler Hansbrough make up the rest of the rotation. Forward Sam Young is questionable with an ankle injury. The Pacers have played the entire season without all-star forward Danny Granger.
Miami is 7-0 ATS after a straight up loss, 22-6 in road games, 16-5 against teams with winning home records, 6-2 after failing to cover, 20-8 in Sunday games, 13-6 overall, and against eastern Conference teams, and 2-6 in ECF games. The last 4 games in this series have gone over the total.
Indiana is 6-0 ATS at home, 4-0 against Southeast teams, 5-1 against teams with winning records, overall, and against Eastern Conference teams, 4-1 in ECF games, 5-2 after a cover, and on one day rest, and 2-8 in Sunday games. The pacers have covered 4 of the last 5 against the heat and were the underdog in all 5 games.
Indiana is 5-0 at home in the playoffs and Miami is 4-0 on the road. Teh Pacers have one of the best home court advantages in the NBA but the Heat aren’t intimidated by playing in hostile environments. The first games in this series have come down to the wire and I don[‘t see that changing in game 3. I think Miami finds a way to regain home court with a close win.