Pacers sneak past Wizards to face Miami in Eastern Conference Finals
No one quite really knows which Pacer team will show up each game. One moment the team is trailing by 30, and the next they are closing out a series convincingly.
Indiana can thank veteran David West for most of the game 6 win Thursday night. West dominated in all aspects of the game, dropping 29 points while grabbing 6 rebounds.
West was just the answer the Pacers needed toward the end of the game. His veteran play arguably prevented a game 7 in Indianapolis.
The Pacers’ 12 point lead at the half quickly vanished midway through the 3rd quarter. It looked as if Indiana had relaxed a bit. One thing Washington had done well throughout the series was capitalizing on the Pacers’ lazy errors.
Once the 4th quarter got going, the Pacers lost grip of all momentum. At one point, with a few minutes remaining in the game, Indiana lost their lead completely. Flashbacks of game 5 and that blowout appeared in every Pacer fan’s mind. The Pacers had lost their spunk at this point in the game.
However, a 14-2 run toward the end of the game helped lock up round two for Indy. David West looked like an All-Star in the final quarter, knocking down shot after shot with ease.
With the Pacers defeating the Washington Wizards in six games, the battle has just begun.
The inconsistent top seed now faces the Miami Heat with a chance for an NBA Finals appearance. The Heat have been the toughest test for the Pacers as of late.
There will be no more chances for big runs against a much better test of talent, in the Miami Heat. Miami is a much more speedy and experienced squad than the young Wizards.
With all due respect to David West, he cannot be the leading scorer in this upcoming Eastern Conference Finals series. It is showtime for both Paul George and Roy Hibbert. Better late than never I guess.
Indiana center, Roy Hibbert, has been incognito throughout much of this season’s playoffs. It was Hibbert’s strong play last year that helped the Pacers establish such a threat in the postseason. Aside from one game in the second round, Hibbert has deserved most of the criticism. A repeat of that 28 point game 2 performance would pay off big time for Indiana now.
Hibbert’s 11 points and 7 rebounds may be enough against the Wizards, but not from now on. Hibbert may have his hands full if he is matched up against Chris Bosh. Bosh has been having a respectable postseason so far, on a Heat team that has only lost once so far in the playoffs.
Just as Hibbert takes care of business in the paint, Paul George is important for Indiana’s tempo. The face of the franchise has been playing fairly well so far in the playoffs. You get the sense that the team still expects a little more though.
George’s 39 points in game 4 may be difficult to replicate every game, but George still needs to maintain a degree of dominance. Someone on this Pacers team will have to match LeBron’s play.
None of these discussion points are breaking news to the Pacers either. They know what to expect from the red hot Heat. Indiana has all the tools to make this series competitive.
Although, if Indiana continues to play like they have lately, it may be a short series exit for the team. It is about time for the Paces to show up. Prove to the nation why they are the number one seed.
Having had the chance to attend the pitiful game 5 in Indianapolis, it is amazing to see how much this Pacers team means to the State of Indiana. This is a basketball state after all.
The key to upsetting the Heat will be winning the home games in Indianapolis. Take care of business in the one place where the atmosphere is completely on your side.
No one expects a clear cut 4-0 series win from either side. This will be a six or seven game series. The point of emphasis will simply be consistency.
The Heat obviously have the better team at this point. It will take a team effort from the Pacers in every game to win this series. That does not mean just Hibbert and George show up. Stephenson, West, Turner, Scola, and the rest of the team will have to all be on their game.
The Wizards series is just a micro example of what may happen if the Pacers continue to play sloppy.
Don’t expect any golden opportunities from LeBron and Wade. The 3-peat is more realistic than ever.