Not happy that I finally got a series prediction right. The Miami Heat just eliminated the Indiana Pacers in 6 games (105-93 in game 6), as I had predicted, but boy was the journey completely unexpected.
At the end of the day, you can say all you want about the Heat — but they were simply better. There is simply no substitute for talents like Lebron James and Dwyane Wade. You can hate them but you can’t deny how good they are.
For the Pacers, it’s been an overachieving season and a great experience. You don’t expect them to get this far, but when they bow out, it’s still a tremendous disappointment. All I can say is that I am glad the Pacers did not resort to dirty tactics in the end after what happened in game 5. They could have easily gone out and hurt someone but they stayed true to hard playoff basketball.
Now it’s back to the drawing board. The Pacers need to figure out how to defend the pick and roll and how to get around screens. The Heat were just so good at using screens to free up Wade and James, whereas the Pacers’ screens were largely ineffective. The Heat also knew how to get the ball inside to their players’ sweet spots, but the Pacers struggled to feed the ball into the post where they could do damage.
Full credit to the Heat for coming through despite losing Chris Bosh, and Udonis Haslem in game 6. The Pacers will bounce back stronger next year. With David West leading the way at least for another year, you have to be optimistic, especially if they add another piece. With an elite point guard (say Nash or D-Williams — as impossible as it is), the Pacers could be scary.
PS: Shame on the Pacers fans who left with the team down by 6 with 2 minutes to go.