Can Pacers Bounce Back in Game 2?
Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals was a great one. An overtime thriller that was decided by a buzzer-beater. Unfortunately for the Indiana Pacers, this game did not finish in their favor. After dictating the tempo and style of play and holding a one point lead with just 2.2 seconds remaining, LeBron James received the inbound pass and went uncontested to the basket. Laying it in at the horn giving the Heat a 1-0 series lead and putting major doubt in the Pacers chances.
Now you have to look forward to Game 2 tomorrow. The Pacers had a chance to steal a game on the road against a team that has lost 4 times in the last 4 months. Most people will look at this game as their one chance to win in Miami. Their one chance to put the Heat on notice. However, I believe the Pacers will bounce back in Game 2. Not only will they bounce back. They will win.
As most of the national media will focus on James’ game winner, the Pacers are focused on winning the series. Game 1 was definitely an opportunity the Pacers would like back. As you look closer though, Indiana has to feel good about what took place regardless of the loss. The Pacers turned the ball over 20 times. They were out rebounded by 2. They allowed 60 points in the paint. The Heat had five players in double figures including 16 points from Chris Andersen on 7-7 shooting.
In reality it took an excellent game from the Heat to beat Indiana. Turnovers were viewed as a major area of importance going into the series. It was Wednesday. Indiana will need to take care of the ball and it will be tough to have as many struggles in back to back games. With their size advantage, it will be tough for Miami to consistently out rebound them and get to the rim to score. Plus there are the wild cards in Chris Andersen and Mario Chalmers. Andersen will not be expected to deliver that offensive punch again. Chalmers suffered a shoulder injury and his health could be a factor.
Indiana needs to tighten their play up, but cannot be discouraged by the outcome of Game 1. They played well enough to win. Their young team will put this behind them just as they did in Games 3 and 6 against New York. The Pacers have shown in their first two playoff series that they have done well in making adjustments. They will do it once again and steal home court advantage in the process.
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