Can Pacers Slay LeBron and Co on Monday?
I just want to go on record for having said before the Indiana Pacers even beat the New York Knickerbockers, that I thought the Indiana Pacers could beat the Miami Heat. You would have thought that I said that they were not going to make Twinkies anymore—hysteria and disbelief.
So for all the naysayers; mainly all the Miami Heat fans I keep running into—how do you like the Indiana Pacers now?
Yes, I have heard the argument that the Miami Heat players are seasoned playoff professionals who won last year’s championship. Yes, I understood when fans explained to me how Miami’s big three are potent. I agree. I remember clearly when it was spelled out for me how LeBron James single handedly is a one man wrecking ball to any opposing team’s defense. By virtue of LeBron drawing a double and at times a triple team defense approach against him it opens up Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to be most lethal.
So for the record for those Miami Heat fans that are keeping score, the seemingly invincible Miami Heat allowed this “easy” series to boil down to a new three game series after allowing the Pacers to tie the series at two all. Other than game three’s rout and absolute spanking at the hand of Miami, the games between these two teams have been close and hard fought games.
The series could have easily been three to one in favor of the Indiana Pacers; if it were not for LeBron’s buzzer beating basket at the end game one. The scoring was not as close in game five; 90- 79 in favor of Miami. The scoring again was not as close in game six; 91- 77 in favor of Indiana. This Eastern Conference Final series is not and never was going to be a slam dunk for the Miami Heat. Now it’s a one game series. The Indiana Pacers have forced a game seven.
Indiana beat Miami in the regular season. Yes, I have been already chided about that. I was reminded that the win occurred during the regular season and that this is the playoff season so that win does not matter anymore. I beg to differ. In the hearts of the Pacers and every anti- Miami Heat fan, it makes this Eastern Conference Final series win possible for the Indiana Pacers. If you did it once you can do it again. Now most importantly, they have done it three times during the playoff season if you please. For Indiana, each win was following a loss. So you can clearly see that they did not give up after a loss. If anything they have come back even more determined. Even more importantly for Miami after every win they lose. It’s all about perspective. Is the glass half full or half empty?
Before this Eastern Conference Finals began, the Pacer Coach, Frank Vogel received some heat — no pun intended — for saying that “Miami was just another team in their way” as they prepared themselves to move toward the championship. As Herm Edwards famously said, “You play to win the game”. If you don’t play to win, what’s the point of playing? You compete with the expectation of putting it all out there to win.
So for all the boys and girls that was always picked last to play dodge ball in the sandlot; and, for all the boys and girls that were designated as the person to rounding up the loose balls because no one wanted them on their team — May the Indiana Pacers slay basketball’s newest Goliath, the Miami Heat.