That's the sad truth for this third ranked Pacers team. They have had a nice season and would be in contention to reach the Eastern Conference Finals if they were playing any other team. However, since they play the Heat, their season is in a sense, over.
Indiana will go out and play hard during this series and will likely take it to five or six games. They have the edge over the Heat in rebounding as the Pacers have two quality big men in David West and Roy Hibbert who are great rebounders.
After that, the Pacers don't have an edge anywhere else. The Heat are a better all-around team and should be able to take care of the Pacers unless there is an injury to one of their key players.
Defensively, both teams are really good. Both teams are in the top 10 in points allowed per game and the game at Indiana should be low scoring affairs with the Pacers having a shot to win. When the series is in Miami, the Heat should be able to explode as they are a much better team at home (28-5) then they are on the road (18-15).
Miami is also one of the best fast-break teams in the NBA. While the Pacers are a good defensive team getting back in transition, they will be no match for the Heat's transition game. They averaged 13 fast-break points a game in the regular season and it will be hard to contain the Heat under that number.
The Pacers can also be very stagnant when they run their half-court offense. They have no rhythm at times and seem lost or confused. There is a lot of isolation with Danny Granger but that will not be enough to beat the defensive-minded Heat. Occasionally the Pacers will run pick and rolls with Hibbert or West, but sometimes they lose focus and veer off that game plan.
The biggest weakness the Heat have is at the point guard position. Guards like Rajon Rondo have been known to tear up the Heat by getting into the lane at will. Rondo's court vision then allows him to make the right play and give the Boston Celtics a huge advantage.
The Pacers lack a point guard who has those abilities. Darren Collison led the team in assists with 4.6 per game but besides him, there aren't any great passers on this Pacers team. Miami's weakness at point guard is constantly brought up. But if a team has no one who can take advantage, well, it will be a tough row to hoe.
The Pacers have had a great season this year and it will be unfortunate when they lose to the Heat. If they played any other team in the East they would be in good shape. The matchups just didn't work out for them this year.
One thing is for sure though, the Pacers have a bright future ahead of them.