After a disappointing game six, the Heat knuckled down and went into action. Dwyane Wade played his best game of the series, scoring 21 points (tying his postseason high) and nine rebounds. His knee appeared to be healthier as he was quicker and more athletic in his play. As a player in general, he looked better.
LeBron James had another high-scoring game with 32 points, as to be expected from him. This time, however, he had help both offensively and defensively.
Offensively, Wade, Chris Bosh and Chris “Birdman” Andersen crashed boards and assisted in rebounding. As a team, Miami outrebounded the Pacers on both ends of the court 43-36.
Mario Chalmers also helped out on the offensive end. He was able to make things happen and added to that energy for the Heat.
Defensively, the Heat put more emphasis on trapping. For the most part, they were successful. Other times, they weren’t, opening up another Pacer, which resulted in a few three-point plays.
Miami was also able to shut out the Pacers’ bigs. Roy Hibbert ended the game with only eight rebounds, while he normally gets 10 or more. By tightening up their rebounding and defense and playing as a collective whole, Miami was able to pull out the series at home.
Indiana’s downfall in last night’s game was that they had too many turnovers. By the end of the first quarter, the young team turned the ball over nine times. Fouling was also a problem. During the fourth quarter, Paul George fouled out with only seven points. The Pacers finished with 21 turnovers and 28 fouls. Additionally, the Pacers were held to shooting less than 50 percent from the field and the three-point line.
Their loss can also be attributed to their lack of ability to come back after a large deficit. Whenever they are down by more than 10, they seem to panic and rush to score. Being a fast team is one thing, but the Pacers get frantic, which does not help.
Ultimately, what will stay on their minds is what would’ve happened if Hibbert was in the game during the last few seconds of game one. Would James have still got the layup? Would Hibbert have blocked it? Would he have fouled and sent James to the line? It’s all in the past now and all Indiana can do is learn from it and move on.