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A Guarantee from Granger

May 20, 2012

This being the playoffs, it's about time for a guarantee, right?

It came from Danny Granger.

"I guarantee you," he said, "he (Dwyane Wade) won't play that bad the next game."

As if a reminder was necessary, Coach Frank Vogel showed the Pacers what amounted to a Wade vs. Indiana highlight reel before practice Saturday.

As if that wasn't enough, Danny Granger spent even more time watching video of Wade playing well.

If the Miami star wanted to wipe Game 3 from his memory quickly, so did the Pacers. As they head to a critical Game 4 this afternoon in Bankers Life Fieldhouse (3:30 p.m., ABC, WIBC 93 FM), the Pacers are fully prepared for a much different Wade than the player that produced just five points on 2-of-13 shooting Thursday night as the Pacers won 94-75 to take a 2-1 series lead.

"We had quite a good film session to reiterate how good Dwyane Wade is," Vogel said. "We showed a lot of clips of him torching us in previous games, making shots that he's been missing in this series and understanding just how good he is, and also understanding the 3-point looks that we're giving them will burn us if we continue to give them those looks.

"We're going to be dialed in to the 3-point line, to understanding how good Wade is and we still have to limit LeBron (James). He's getting off more than we want him to. We understand how good this team is, fully."

Wade has shot just 31 percent in the series and Miami has gone 5-of-42 (.119) from the 3-point line. The Heat shot 36 percent from the arc during the regular season.

Wade also had a blowup with Coach Erik Spoelstra during a timeout in the third quarter of Game 4. With Friday off, the star guard traveled to Bloomington, Ind., to visit with Tom Crean, his coach at Marquette.

Just how Wade, Spoelstra and the Heat will respond to this moment could well determine the course of the series.

"What happened between D-Wade and Spoelstra was highly publicized but teams can bounce back from that in two ways," Granger said. "They can come together, call a meeting, get on the same page. Or it can be more of a crack. I think they'll take the positive approach and we have to think they're going to come back and be on the same page more than ever."

Paul George has been the primary defender, using his combination of quickness, athleticism and length to harass Wade. In George's 92 minutes on the court in the series, the Pacers have outscored the Heat by 48 points. In 52 minutes with George on the bench, Miami has an advantage of 35 points.

"Whether he comes out passive or aggressive," George said, "I'm still going to attack him the way I've done the whole series."

Both teams are approaching Game 4 as the most critical of the series.

After Game 3, James called today's meeting "a must-win, honestly."

Granger staked that same claim after practice Saturday.

"He calls it a must-win for them, I call it a must-win for us," he said. "If we lose this game, we have to go back to their court two more times to get two more wins and that's really tough.

"It's a must-win for both teams. For them, obviously they're in desperation mode. For us, we see it as a chance to turn the tide."

Whichever team wins today will feel fully in control of the series. Guaranteed.

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