My takeaway from Game 1 of the East Finals is that Miami just got a reminder that it’s in for a fight. After going 8-1 in the first two rounds they’ll have to play to beat the Pacers.
And they’re not playing the same Pacers who muddled through the first round against Atlanta.
To really put the Heat to the fire (wow, I’m mixing metaphors Juwan Howard style) the Pacers have to hold serve again in Game 2.
Not sure they can. The Heat went 6 of 23 on 3-pointers in Game 1. Indy was 8 of 19. Doesn’t require much to see that reversing and as well as the Pacers played if that reverses then there’s a different winner.
Another big takeaway for me is that LeBron James usually hides a lot of flaws in the Heat roster. All superstars do, that’s why they are superstars.
But if the Heat are a minus-13 with James on the court in Game 1 then one would think he struggled. Nope, he was 11 of 18 shooting with 25 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and three steals. And his team was falling further behind while he was doing all that and Dwyane Wade was scoring an efficient 27.
I still think the Heat pull out of this, although Indy’s physical attributes that give Miami problems are real, we’ve known that for three years.
But I give the West survivor – I thought OKC before the Ibaka injury and now am conflicted on it – a great chance to beat the Heat and prevent a third straight title.