Daily NBA Fix 5-19-14: Indiana Pacers Turn Clock Back To 2013

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Welcome to the Daily NBA Fix for Monday, May 19, the morning after the Indiana Pacers morphed back into the team we saw in November, December and January.

The Pacers on Sunday in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals were the team we saw in the early part of the season—efficient offensively, terrific defensively and not reliant on one player to make things happen.

May 18, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade (3) takes a shot past Indiana Pacers guard George Hill (3) on a drive to the basket during the second half of game one of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Indiana Pacers beat Miami Heat 107 to 96. Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

The Pacers scored 107 points with no player taking more than 13 shots—that’s efficiency.

But bear in mind their opponent is the Miami Heat, the same Heat team that has lost every Game 1 on the road since LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh decided to do their super friends thing in the summer of 2010.

The Heat’s offense relies an awful lot on drive-and-kick sets, where one of their posse of great penetrators collapses the defense into the paint, then finds open shooters at the 3-point line. That was there against Indiana on Sunday.

The problem was that Miami was excellent only at running the drive-and-clank offense, wherein the ball penetrates the lane and gets kicked out to an open shooter, who clanks an open 3.

The Heat were just 6-for-23 from 3-point range on Sunday—26.1 percent, their lowest mark of the playoffs by far for a team shooting 37.4 percent from distance in the postseason.

When you add in the familiar problems Miami has of not having anybody who can really match up with massive Roy Hibbert—who was good Roy Hibbert on Sunday—and not being able to rebound and what you get is what you saw, an 11-point win for the Pacers.

Indiana is now 6-1 at home against Miami in the last two seasons, including the playoffs, but Miami is 16-3 in the last four years in series after losing Game 1—they’ve never lost a series after dropping the first game.

The one guy Miami brought in that might have been able to match up with Indiana’s size was where he has been the entire postseason—in street clothes.

Greg Oden was inactive again, after playing only 23 regular season games in his first NBA action since December 2009, when he wrecked one of his fragile knees again just a game after posting the first 20-rebound game of his career, coincidentally enough against the Heat.

Oden was the guy who was basically brought in specifically for this series after Miami watched Hibbert dominate them inside during last year’s Eastern Conference Finals.

No Oden on Sunday meant Hibbert had the ability to dominate inside and, while he wasn’t exactly Hakeem Olajuwon, he wasn’t the lost soul we’ve seen so often during the early rounds of the playoffs this year, either.

He scored 19 points, had nine rebounds and the Pacers outscored the Heat by 19 points while he was on the floor.

James was surprisingly passive in Game 1, scoring 25 points, but not really attacking the rim, as evidenced by his two free-throw attempts, four fewer than Pacers backup point guard C.J. Watson had in 23 fewer minutes on the court.

Mario Chalmers, meanwhile, was awful. He had six points on 2-of-9 shooting in 37 minutes, but at least he had a really nice cheap shot on Watson, and Bosh missed all five of his 3-point attempts and had nine points and two rebounds—the production you really want from an All-Star on a near-max deal.

But we’ve been here before with the Heat—down 1-0 in the playoff series—so we might want to hold off burying them after just 48 minutes in the series.

the Daily NBA Fix will focus on the happenings around the Association, along with a look at the daily lines for those who want to drop a buck or two on a wager. Here’s some highlights from Sunday’s action:

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Tags: 2014 NBA Eastern Conference Finals 2014 NBA Playoffs Daily Nba Fix Indiana Pacers

  • Real M-Fing talk !!!

    The “Daily NBA Fix you may want to change that title, because some Fans already believe the NBA is Fixed, so why remind them….lol

    The only “G☉_☉D” thing about the Pacers game from the Heat prospective, the
    NBA world finally had a chance to see what kind of idiot is coaching the Miami heat !
    I wont go into everything Erik spoelstra did wrong, BUT even an imbecile like Vogal knew this was their third shot at the Heat and what they did before did not work, why not change things up, So Vogal came with a plan something spoelstra doesn’t have a clue about, don’t ask Erik to coach on the fly, it will never happen… because his solution to handle with a 7’2 guy standing under the rim is to go smaller… i am still shaking my G-D head at that move and Pat “brain rot” Riley is not without blame, he hired that moron and Riley had one job to do after the players formed the big 1.50 and it was, get the Heat some inside help… and in 4 years that oil slick failed big time, all you need is size when you have a player the talent of Lebron… Blatche was a free Agent, Riley didn’t give him a look a 7 foot athletic bigman, but Riley gave Pittman chance after chance to proved he sucks, and i wont mention Curry, The sixes were in tank mode Hawes was available and look what Gortat did to Hibbert in the playoffs, put size up against Hibbert and he wilts…

    The Miami Heat has a once in a generation team and player and Pat “brain dead” Riley thought it was a great idea to hand over the keys of a high powered machine to a novice driver… Ask yourself this…. is Erik spoelstra EVEN coaching on a Dwayne wade bad knees and all level? i know he is not coaching on a Chris Bosh or even a birdman level… because if he was the Heat would not look so bad, Erik on the Norris Cole level of coaching, He will hit a shot now again again, but more often expect more blunders, turnovers and fouls than points scored and although he is a minus 19 expect to see him back out their again…. Imagine if the Heat had a real coach like a thibodeau, coaches like him deserved to coach the best. The media was always scared to say anything negative about Erik because of his two rings, it would force them to question other guys like Phil Jackson, who i believe is a Sham, snake oil salesman, guys like him and Erik aren’t great coaches only lucky, right place right time.