There is no question that the Heat's reserve big men played extremely well tonight, but if you're Eric Spoelstra, can you really count on them to play at this level for an entire postseason series? Joel Anthony had nine points and seven rebounds while making all four of his shot attempts from the field, but that seems unsustainable for a player with as raw an offensive game as Anthony.
Turiaf had four points and three boards in 10:19 of playing time, but is that concentrated burst really indicative of what he'll give them in the future?
One of the Pacers' biggest strengths is their size and dominating front line, anchored by 7'2" All-Star Roy Hibbert. Despite Indiana's struggles in the second half of the game, Hibbert finished with a very respectable 17 points and 11 rebounds, including five on the offensive end. Hibbert presents a matchup nightmare to a team like Miami, and he has developed a very sound offensive game, including a terrific drop step and very soft hook shot.
Power forward David West also put up nice numbers, scoring 17 points as well while grabbing 12 rebounds and dishing out three assists. If the two of them can play this well for the rest of the series, Indiana is still in extremely good shape to pull off a major upset.
The team also has capable bench forwards in Tyler Hansbrough and Louis Amundson who are extremely active out on the court in limited minutes. When you factor in Danny Granger, a solid rebounding small forward, and the 6'10" Paul George who lines up at the two-guard, Indiana is easily one of the league's largest teams.
The Pacers' size clearly bothered Udonis Halsem, who scored just two points and missed all four of his field goal attempts. With Bosh's status uncertain for the future, the Heat will need some offensive production from Haslem, who looked uncomfortable on the floor with the towering Pacers.
The Heat had some great activity on the boards, with James snaring 15 and everyone who played stepping up on the glass, but unless they can keep up that kind of gritty play, the advantage inside should go the way of the Pacers.
Size is often something that figures heavily into the playoffs; teams can overcome a lot of obstacles if they can dominate the game from the four and five positions. While the Heat certainly have advantages at the shooting guard and small forward positions, their reliance on small-ball play could come back to haunt them as this series goes on.