Heat at Pacers Game 5 Pick

Miami Heat vs. Indiana Pacers

Game 5

Wednesday 8:30 EST

May 28, 2014

Game 5 Line: Miami2.5 (Subject to change. Check up-to-date odds at Bovada)

Chris Bosh started Game 4 with eight straight points. LeBron James finished it.

Now, the Miami Heat, who are 13-3 in closeout games since the 2011 postseason is one game away from eliminating the Indiana Pacers for the second consecutive year in the Eastern Conference finals. Unlike last season where this series went the distance, the Pacers appear to be no match for the two-time defending champions. Miami has won the last three games in the series, and have outscored the Pacers by 39 points in a span of about 6½ quarters, since trailing by 15 during Game 3.

This series has been all about the greatness of one superstar and the curious case of another. James continues to rewrite the record books. By recording a double-double with a game-high 32 points and 10 rebounds, Game 4 was the 74th playoff game where James had at least 25 points, five rebounds and five assists, passing Michael Jordan for the most in NBA history. Paul George on the other hand has spent more time this series making excuses for why the Pacers lost than making plays to help the Pacers win.

Game 4 wasn’t about the free-throw disparity that drastically favored the Heat, how Indiana shot 49.3% from the floor, or Indiana’s misleading rebounding advantage of 37-34 over Miami. This game was about one team’s superstars showing their worth to the franchise (if we didn’t know already), and another team’s confidence wilting before the pressure of a champion.

This game was about James and the rest of the Heats’ ability to score at will, while employing their shutdown defense on an inept offense. Indiana was a step late on defense, standing and watching Miami’s flawless offense. The Pacers however, were simply flawed.

Roy Hibbert was back to his good old’ self-posting his famous goose egg in the most pivotal game of the Pacers season. And Sir Lance “A-talk Alot” Stephenson didn’t score his first point until 4:34 remained in the third quarter. By then, the Pacers already trailed by 13. Not much later, the Heat put Game 4 in the win column.

Having watched these last three games, since the Heat someway and somehow lost Game 1, it’s hard to imagine this series returning to South Beach for a Game 6. They say perception is everything so if that’s the case, it’s hard to believe that this series isn’t already over. The Heat are on a mission and it won’t be completed until Miami is crowned champions for a third straight season. At this point, it’s hard to fathom how Indiana earned the No. 1 seed in the East. Maybe it was because of the elite defense the Pacers can play. Or, for those few months during the early months of the season where their $90 million dollar man, George, was believed to worth every penny of his lucrative contract.

But the reality is that the Pacers simply can’t keep up with the talent of the Heat. They never could, and who knows if they’ll ever be able to.

This has been the issue that has surrounded Indiana all season long. Indiana had high expectations, but maybe, they were just fooling themselves. By no means, should we ever compare the Pacers to a team that’s forming a dynasty right before our very eyes. Not in the 2014 Eastern Conference finals, and barring a drastic makeover to the Pacers roster in 2015, not next year either.

Coming into this season, the Pacers had everything they needed to dethrone the King and his court. They were out to seek revenge. They thought they were deeper; more balanced on offense, and had an MVP-caliber player. But as their season is about to come to an end in Game 5, they’ll have plenty of time to talk about what went wrong, because during the 2014 Eastern Conference finals, nothing went right.

My Pick: Heat -2.5

May 28, 2014 by : Posted in Picks and Predictions No Comments
Adam Rosen

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Adam Rosen is a seasoned sports writer with special interests in Pro Football and Basketball. He has been picking sports games against the spread for years, and has posted a 56% win rate over his last 75 predictions.

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