Saturday, June 1st, 2013 at 8:30 PM EDT at Bankers Life Fieldhouse

Game Preview: IND vs MIA, Game 6

Scott Agness | May 31, 2013

Matchup

It’s win or go home for the Indiana Pacers. The competitive juices will be flowing full-throttle Saturday night for Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

As the best-of-seven series makes its way back to Indianapolis, the defending champion Miami Heat cling to a 3-2 lead. The Pacers led at halftime of their 90-79 Game 5 loss, but they blew too many chances in the first half and were picked apart by LeBron James and Udonis Haslem in the third quarter. The Pacers were outscored by 17 points in that decisive quarter, which put them on their heels and they were never able to get closer than eight.

By this time in a series, the teams know the intricacies of one another very well. Roy Hibbert, who’s averaging 22 points and nine rebounds per game this series, believes it’s all about the small things.

“It's about effort,” he said. “It's about who wants it more. Who wants to get that offensive rebound. Who wants to get that blocked shot. Who wants to get the loose ball. We just have to come out with more determination. It's not anything the coaches can tell us, it's about what's (inside).”

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First and foremost, the Pacers have to do a better of taking care of the ball. In their three losses this series, they’ve averaged six more turnovers per game than in their two wins.

Related: "Saturday Night Swagger" Planned »

Then, it’s about getting production from their balanced attack. Paul George, David West, and Hibbert were responsible for 84 percent of the team’s scoring load in Game 5. George Hill and Lance Stephenson combined for five points, six turnovers and 10 fouls. And just like with turnovers, when the Pacers’ backcourt is playing well, there’s a high probability of them winning.

Finally, it’ll come down to the inside game, where the Pacers should have the edge because of their frontline. That’s where their best advantage lies in this series. They can pound it in the post and out-muscle their way to the hoop. Second chance points from offensive rebounds have also been key.

Last year at this time, the Pacers were in the same quandary: Down 3-2 in a series against the Heat, who have a handful of Hall of Famers and experienced veterans on their roster. The Pacers believe they, too, have taken a giant step in a year’s time. This will be their time to show it – on a grand stage, in front of over 18,000 fans wearing gold t-shirts in support of their team. The Pacers have won seven of eight home games this postseason.

The Pacers are truly in a “must-win” situation and it’ll be game No. 99 for the Blue and Gold. They look to keep the series alive, in hopes of returning to Miami to play their 100th game of the season with the winner advancing to the NBA Finals.

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: Tyler Hansbrough (probable, right ankle sprain), Danny Granger (out for the season, left knee)
Heat: None

Quotable

“We've got a great deal of resolve and a great deal of belief that we can win this series. Our backs are up against the wall again. Theirs were, they came back and responded. Took care of their business on their home court like they were supposed to. And it's up to us now to come back and get Game 6, see what happens in a Game 7.” – Frank Vogel

“This Game 6 will really determine how much we've grown [since last year]…We've done well all year, especially in the postseason, dealing with adversity, and overcoming games where we didn't play as well as we wanted to and coming out with energy and the effort to get the job done.” – Paul George

“We got to go to our place. Have our home crowd behind us and try to get a win and come back here and force a Game 7. Anything can happen.” – Tyler Hansbrough

Noteworthy

  • The Pacers are 7-1 in home playoff games this season.
  • Udonis Haslem went 8-for-9 from the floor in two of the last three games – both wins for the Heat.
  • Chris Andersen hasn’t missed a field goal against the Pacers this series. He’s made all 15 attempts, but only one was outside of two feet.
  • The game is a "Gold Out," so all fans in attendance will receive a gold Pacers t-shirt.

Last Meeting

May 30: The Pacers shot 51 percent in the first half, but because of nine turnovers and a handful of blown layups, they were only ahead by four. Out of the break, LeBron James scored 16 of his game-high 30 points in the third period and Udonis Haslem connected on all five of his attempts in the period. Meanwhile, the Pacers were 3-for-14 in the third. The Heat used a 16-2 run to build a comfortable cushion, which they held on to in their 90-79 win.

Paul George finished with 27 points, 11 rebounds and five assists. He became the first Pacers player since Reggie Miller (in 1995) to score at least 20 points in five straight road playoff games. Roy Hibbert had 22 and David West tallied 17. Turnovers, 18 in total, hampered the Pacers chances to win, especially since their advantage in the paint wasn’t there.

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), Slick Leonard (analyst), Kevin Lee (sideline reporter/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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