Miami Heat vs. Indiana Pacers: 5 Keys to Miami Coming Back Against Indiana
The Pacers have shown that they are not to be taken lightly despite their lack of playoff experience.
There are five keys to Miami rebounding and defeating the Pacers in this series.
If the Heat want to reach the Eastern Conference finals then they will have to turn things around quickly.
Here are the five keys to the Heat’s success against the Pacers.
Dwyane Wade Must Take Charge
While Dwyane Wade made headlines in Game 3, it wasn’t for his clutch shots, it was for his animated on-court argument with head coach Erik Spoelstra.
If the Miami Heat want to defeat the Pacers, then Wade will need to take over down the stretch and be the best player on the floor.
Wade had one of his worst playoff performances in Game 3, scoring only five points and he was a minus-25, the worst on the entire team.
Even though he scored 53 points in the first two games, Wade has struggled in the series shooting a dreadful 31 percent from the floor.
The Heat need Wade to turn things around and be their leader if they are going to make a comeback against the Pacers.
Shane Battier Needs to Make Shots
The Miami Heat signed Shane Battier to be a great player coming off the bench.
Battier is known for his defense and his ability to shoot threes.
However, Battier hasn’t lived up to either in this series. He is 1-of-12 from beyond the arc and with Chris Bosh sidelined with an injury, Battier is in the starting lineup.
Battier needs to start converting his threes and play better defense if the Heat want to beat the Pacers.
Mario Chalmers Needs to Repeat His Game 3 Performance
One of the few bright spots for the Heat in Game 3 was Mario Chalmers' 25-point outburst.
Even though I doubt he will repeat that performance, he needs to score in double-digits to take some of the burden off of Wade and LeBron James.
In the first two games of the series, Chalmers struggled shooting 15 percent and scoring just nine points.
Not only does Chalmers need to provide offense, but he needs to play better defense against Indiana’s George Hill.
The Bench Needs to Step Up
Despite the increased offense in Game 3, the Miami Heat’s bench has let them down in this series.
Mike Miller has only scored eight points in three games, James Jones has scored two points the past two games and Udonis Haslem has scored six points in the entire series as a starter and a reserve.
While Battier is now in the starting lineup, there is less scoring coming off the bench so the rest of the Heat’s reserves need to step up.
Fortunately, all the Heat need is for one of their bench players to get hot and everything could change.
LeBon Needs to Play Like an MVP
Even though LeBron James is averaging 27.3 PPG in the series, he has failed to play like an MVP.
James needs to play better and go to the basket at the end of the game.
Although he has struggled from the free-throw line when he draws fouls and penetrates, it puts the Pacers in foul trouble and opens up shots for other Heat players.
James not only needs to start making free throws, but he needs to make more threes. So far he is 1-of-11 in the series.
Lastly, not only does James need to score, but he needs to facilitate more. After averaging 6.2 APG in the regular season and 6.8 in the playoffs during his career, he is only averaging 4.3 against the Pacers.