With the series tied 1-1 after two and the pendulum now swings in the Indiana Pacers favor, the Miami Heat faces a pivotal Game 3 on Sunday, May 26, 2013 (next two games will be played in Indianapolis). The game tips off at 8:30 pm eastern standard time and as much as Heat fans would not admit it, they are cringing. Case in point, last night I text my friend Jordan and asked if he was worried now the series have switched to Indiana—his response was “LOL not a bit” but I know he is worried.You have to forgive me for calling him out— but I had to get him back for reminding me every day when the Heat was on its 27-game win streak that they are the best team in the NBA.
The Heat dodged a bullet this weekend—as the league have decided not to suspend Dwayne Wade for elbowing Indiana Pacers guard Lance
Stephenson in the head during Game 2 of the Eastern Conference on Friday. This is good news for the Heat who is going to need its big 3 to figure
out this “never say die” Pacer team; but it may not be enough to get them through the series.
Reasons Why Heat Fans Should Worry
During their epic 27-game winning streak (which began February 1), the Miami Heat had to deal with a lot of media attention. As an organization, players and coaches were all saying the right things, but no matter what they were saying they wanted to break the Los Angeles Lakers’ record 33 consecutive wins in a season. As a team they put a lot of energy and focus into each game to make NBA history. When the streak finally came to an end after winning for 2 consecutive months, the inevitable had to happen—they had put so much effort into winning every game; we knew when they finally lost, they would eventually crack. During this whole time, players like Dwayne Wade had been battling injuries; also mentally and emotionally the had to deal with the added pressure from the media and being the top team in the NBA for two consecutive months that is was going to take its toll.
If the Heat is going to win this series, it will depend heavily on Wade’s health. Heat fans have to worry about Wade because he looks as though he has
been wearing down. There were times during Game 2 where he looked slow, and not able to take advantages of switches and isolations of the slower
Pacers’ Bigs. LeBron James has earned his 3 rd MVP title in four years for a reason (scored 66 points on 44 shots in two games including the buzzer
beater in Game 1); but if the Heat is to advance the NBA Finals they have to help LeBron. LeBron James cannot do it by himself. The Heat needs
Wade to be health, as well as more productivity from Bosh. They also need help from the bench. Shane Battier has been MIA thus far in the series
and Ray Allen has been a non-factor.
The Miami Heat has been disrupted by the Pacers defense and their inability to figure out how to adjust to the Pacers’ small ball. That coupled with
the fact that Roy Hibbert has been dominating the low post (Chris Bosh is no match for him)—and a star is born in Paul George. If that’s not
frightening enough Heat fans—the Pacers don’t lose at home. The Pacers are 5-0 at home in the playoffs; and they also have one of the best home
court advantage in the NBA during the regular season.
Let’s face it; things could have been worse. Had it not been for LeBron James buzzer-beater layup in Game 1 to give the Heat the win, Miami could
be looking at a 0-2 deficit going into a hostile environment in Indy.
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