LeBron James dominated game one of the Miami Heat’s playoff series against the Indiana Pacers, scoring 32 points and grabbing 15 rebounds, James eviscerated the Pacers following his acceptance of the NBA MVP award. The best player in the NBA will continue to dominate the Indiana Pacers this series.
LeBron James and the Miami Heat played the Indiana Pacers four times during the regular season. James averaged over 26 points per game, eight plus rebounds, and more than six assists. The MVP also chipped in 2.75 steals per game. Against the Pacers, LeBron shot over 47% from the field, 50% from behind the arc, and 73% from the free throw line while averaging 10 attempts per game. These numbers are staggering, and considering his performance in Game 1, LeBron clearly owns Indiana.
James, an incredible athlete, is simply no match for the Indiana Pacers. Danny Granger, Indiana’s best player, cannot match LeBron’s athleticism or his size. Granger isn’t quick enough to check LeBron at the perimeter or big enough to handle him in the post.
The Pacers are also limited defensively along their front line. David West and Tyler Hansborough aren’t tall enough to seriously challenge LeBron, and Roy Hibbert lacks the athleticism to challenge James. With no one to check him defensively, LeBron is able to drive to the rim at will, completely disrupting the Pacers defense.
The ability of Dwayne Wade and the rest of the Heat’s supporting cast also contribute to LeBron’s success. A talented player in his own right, the Pacers are forced to commit part of their defense to limiting Wade offensively. Also, with shooters Mike Miller and Shane Battier on the perimeter, the Pacers are forced to respect their abilities, allowing LeBron the driving lanes he needs to dominate.
Essentially, the Pacers are between a rock and a hard place. They can either prevent LeBron from getting to the rim, allowing him to find the open man. Or they can cover the shooters, letting LeBron take it to the rim, risking foul trouble for the big men.
The Indiana Pacers lack the personnel to match up with LeBron James. A freak athlete, LeBron will continue to dominate offensively and defensively during the Miami Heat’s second round series against the Pacers.