In the regular season, the Pacers finished third in the Eastern Conference and only had four fewer wins than Miami. Although Miami is clearly the better team with Bosh, without CB4 in the lineup the Heat were just 4-5.
Part of the reason the Heat were successful when Wade was injured this year was because they were still able to get scoring from the frontcourt and the backcourt. Chalmers stepped up his offense with Wade out, creating a balanced scoring attack with Bosh and James chipping in.
If Miami chooses to play LeBron at small forward, they will sorely lack interior scoring with Joel Anthony and Udonis Haslem being the main threats inside. Neither of those two scare the Pacers and would give them a huge advantage due to the point production they’d be getting out of David West and Roy Hibbert.
If Miami chooses to put LeBron at power forward to give them interior scoring their play will also suffer. James thrives on overpowering smaller defenders on his way to the hoop as there is no small forward in the game that has his size and quickness.
However, if a bigger man is covering LeBron he will still have that quickness, but it would be a challenge for him to battle inside the whole series. Getting pushed around for a half of basketball is one thing, but an entire series is something completely different.
Although most people will consider Miami to be the favorite even without Chris Bosh in the lineup, I believe Indiana will be able to exploit the Heat’s weaknesses and ultimately win the series.