Friday, May 24th, 2013 at 8:30 PM EDT at American Airlines Arena

Game Preview: IND at MIA, Game 2

Scott Agness | May 23, 2013

Matchup

Pacers coach Frank Vogel was encouraged by his team’s play in Game 1, despite suffering a heartbreaking loss at the buzzer that left many second-guessing. Most of all, the game reinforced the Pacers’ confidence that they could hang with and beat the defending champion Miami Heat on their home floor.

Vogel and the team understood at practice on Thursday that the final play wasn’t the only reason they lost. They had mistakes – correctable mistakes – throughout the game, like failure to block out, defend for entire possessions and execute defensive rotations properly that contributed to the loss.

If Paul George doesn’t hit an off-balance 32-footer off a broken play, the game never heads into overtime. If the officials don’t call a debatable foul on Dwyane Wade with 2.2 seconds to play, the Pacers are still down two and might have lost anyway.

Related: Pacers Not Looking to Retaliate »

In these playoff games, the margin of error is so thin. The Heat’s largest lead of five came just a few minutes into the second half. There were 18 ties and 17 lead changes – razor thin margins. One basket off a turnover or missed free throws can be the difference. And the Pacers did leave eight points (24-of-32) at the free throw line.

Turning the ball over 20 times, giving up 60 points in the paint and getting beat to loose balls aren’t winning basketball plays, as Vogel would say. Indiana’s rebounding margin was just five and they gave the Heat 25 attempts at the foul line.

James picked up two fouls before the first period ended, but the Pacers failed to add to their lead. Heat point guard Mario Chalmers sustained a shoulder injury midway into the third, never returned, and the Pacers didn’t pounce. The Pacers’ need more out of their backcourt duo of George Hill and Lance Stephenson. The two combined for 12 points on 4-of-19 shooting and seven turnovers. With each of them playing at least 43 minutes, the Pacers need a bigger contribution from those two.

Related: As World Snarls, Vogel Smiles »

Entering Friday’s Game 2, the Pacers try to change the pattern. In their two previous playoff meetings with the Heat, the team that won Game 1 went on to win the series both times. The Pacers led at the break and after three quarters even though they had troublesome spurts, so there’s no reason for confidence to go away.

The Pacers have turned the page and their belief remains strong. This is a unified group that won’t let one loss, no matter how frustrating, disrupt their cohesiveness. The saying is a series doesn’t start until the home team loses. The Pacers will be looking to start this series on Friday night.

Probable Starters

George Hill

George Hill

Lance Stephenson

Lance Stephenson

Paul George

Paul George

David West

David West

Roy Hibbert

Roy Hibbert

Mario Chalmers

Mario Chalmers

Dwyane Wade

Dwyane Wade

LeBron James

LeBron James

Udonis Haslem

Udonis Haslem

Chris Bosh

Chris Bosh

Injury Update

Pacers: Danny Granger (out for the season, left knee)
Heat: Mario Chalmers (probable, shoulder)

Quotable

“We can play a lot better. That’s a big reason why I feel like my belief is strengthened. They made more winning plays than we did. They won more loose balls down the stretch than we did. We got to do better from the free throw line, we got to keep them off the glass, we got to keep the out of transition more than we did, and we have to clean up out our coverage’s in the half-court so we don’t allow so many straight-line drives at the rim.” – Frank Vogel

“Another reason I’ve strengthened my belief. We get usual production from George Hill and Lance Stephenson and it’s a different ball game.” – Frank Vogel on his backcourt struggling in Game 1

“They had a more intelligent plan against Roy Hibbert than New York did. It was effective last night and we've got to adjust to it.” – Frank Vogel on Miami

“We respond well. We’re a team that don’t get too high or get too low. That’s good when you have a team like that, especially with us being on the road, we have to have that mentality.” – Paul George

“I thought we played hard enough, maybe just didn’t make enough plays down he stretch to win but our effort was where it needed to be. We’re going to need a similar effort [Friday] night to give ourselves a chance. We just can’t leave as many plays as we left out there on the floor.” – David West

Noteworthy

  • The Pacers are 2-5 away from home in the playoffs.
  • LeBron James was named to the All-NBA first team. Dwyane Wade and Paul George each were on the third team, quite the honor for 23-year-old George.
  • Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra finished second for the NBA’s Coach of the Year award, behind Denver’s George Karl. Vogel was fifth.

Last Meeting

May 22: If not for poor defensive execution on the final play of the game leading to LeBron James’ layup at the buzzer, the Pacers would have come away with a huge Game 1 victory. Paul George, who scored 25 of his 27 points in the second half and in overtime, drilled a deep 3-pointer to tie the game at the end of regulation. Then, after a questionable foul on Dwyane Wade, George went to the line and sank all three foul shots to put the Pacers up one late in the extra period. With 2.2 seconds on the clock, LeBron caught the ball the left elbow, took one dribble and easily laid in the game-winning hoop because the Pacers had no rim protection. Vogel elected to play a switching lineup, which had Roy Hibbert seated on the bench for the Heat’s final two possessions, both of which ended in easy layups by James.

The Heat had no answer for David West, who had 26 points on 11-of-17 shooting. Roy Hibbert scored 19 and Tyler Hansbrough chipped in 10 off the bench. James finished with a triple double – 30 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists along with three blocked shots. Wade scored 19 and Chris Andersen provided the Heat with a big lift. He made all seven of his shots, mostly around the hoop, and ended the night with 16 points.

Broadcast Information | Find Local Listings

TV: TNT – Marv Albert (play-by-play), Reggie Miller (analyst), Steve Kerr (analyst), Craig Sager (reporter), David Aldridge (reporter)
Radio: FM 107.5 and AM 1070 The Fan (beginning at 9:00 PM), Pacers Radio Network - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Austin Croshere (analyst), Michael Grady (host)
Note: The Pacers TV crew of Chris Denari, Quinn Buckner, Austin Croshere and Brooke Olzendam will have a 30-minute postgame show on FOX Sports Indiana immediately following the game./>/>

Ticket Information

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