Thursday, May 30th, 2013 at 8:30 PM EDT at American Airlines Arena
Game Preview: IND at MIA, Game 5
Scott Agness | May 29, 2013
It seems like not too long ago, the Pacers were in this same situation. For the second straight postseason, they're headed back to Miami with the series tied at 2-2. It’s understood that it’s now a best-of-three series and the Pacers must win another game down there (either Game 5 Thursday or potentially Game 7 Monday) in order to advance.
This Eastern Conference Finals series has exceeded all expectations. Each postseason meeting, except for Game 3, has gone down to the wire leaving everybody wanting more. The Miami Heat won Game 3 by 18 points, yet the two teams are separated in the four games by eight points. It’s been that close and that intriguing.
In the Pacers’ 99-92 Game 4 win on Tuesday night, Pacers coach Frank Vogel and his staff had a minor philosophy change and decided to put multiple defenders on LeBron James, rather than leaving him only in the hands of Paul George. Both Lance Stephenson and Sam Young each volunteered to check James in spurts, which didn’t allow the four-time MVP to sit back and get comfortable.
Indiana’s frontline continues to be its biggest strength. Roy Hibbert and David West are both averaging double-doubles in this series and nearly having their way in the lane. That tandem has outrebounded Miami's starting front court, Chris Bosh and Udonis Haslem, by a combined 50 rebounds. Vogel said Hibbert is playing the best basketball that he’s seen him play.
The interior play has been telling and should favor the Pacers. In Miami’s two wins, they’ve scored 12 and 16 more points in the paint, respectively. The Pacers were even with the Heat in Game 2 and were +18 in the paint their Game 4 win. In an effort to keep Hibbert away from the goal, the Heat have spaced out their players, including Bosh who can be effective on the block. Instead, most of his shots have been jumpers and almost 30 percent have been behind the arc. That’s not his game.
Entering Game 5, the Pacers will continue to treat the game as if everything is on the line. They must be active from the tip, in pursuit of every man and prevent any Heat player from getting on a roll. James fouled out last game, so the Pacers can expect the world’s best player to be ready and determined.
The Pacers believe they can outplay the Heat once again on their home floor, even though the defending champions lost just four regular season games at American Airlines Arena. They believe they have the best coaching staff and the most balanced team in the league. Before Game 4, Coach Vogel wrote on the dry erase board “BE ENCOURAGED!!!” Maybe for this one, it’ll read: “WE WILL AGAIN!!!”
Pacers: Danny Granger (out for the season, left knee)
“We got to be at our best. Our intensity, our determination, our focus – it’s got to just keep getting better and better each game of this series. We’re going to need to be at our best if we have any chance of beating this team.” – Frank Vogel
“Every game is an elimination game at this point. Or close to it. I think the desperation for both teams is going to be very high.” – Frank Vogel
“Just having a guy that can be a quality matchup on any of the elite wing scorers in this league. The Carmelo Anthony’s, J.R. Smith’s, LeBron, Wade. Nobody can stop those guys but you got to have somebody that has some defensive ability and that’s why he’s here and he’s filling out his roll very well for us.” – Frank Vogel on Sam Young’s recent play
“We played a full 48 minutes in that [Game 2] win in Miami and that’s what it’s going to take. We did it on the defensive end, we got off to a great start and we were able to rally their comeback.” – Paul George on what’s needed to win
“He’s playing phenomenal. Other than Timmy, he’s been the best center in this game right now, thus far in this postseason. That’s the reason why we’ve been so well because we’re getting a huge contribution from the post area.” – Paul George on Roy Hibbert
- The Pacers are 4-3 vs. the Heat this season.
- Indiana is 4-0 this postseason when shooting 50 percent or better.
- Indiana has alternated wins and losses in each of its last seven postseason games (W-L-W-L-W-L-W).
- The Pacers will wear their gold alternate jerseys.
May 28: The Pacers got off to a torrid start, scoring the game’s first 11 points. Roy Hibbert, who finished with 23 points and 12 rebounds, was tremendous in the post and he was responsible for two offensive putbacks that helped the Pacers seal the 99-92 win. Lance Stephenson some questionable moments, but also some big ones. His 3-pointer to close the third quarter pushed the Pacers in front by seven. The Heat made a couple runs, most notably a 14-2 spurt after Joey Crawford waved off a second chance hoop by Tyler Hansbrough, whistling a shot clock violation that replay proved to be incorrect. The Pacers outscored the Heat 13-3 over the final five minutes.
Responsible for 14 points and 12 rebounds, David West recorded his fifth double-double in the playoffs. James finished with a game-high 24 points, six rebounds, five assists and three blocks before fouling out with 56 seconds remaining. Mario Chalmers contributed 20 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/AM 1070 The Fan, 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./>/>
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