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Heat vs. Pacers: No Need for Indiana to Panic After Losing Game 4

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MAY 20: Roy Hibbert #55 of the Indiana Pacers sits on the bench near the end of Game Four of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Miami Heat in the 2012 NBA Playoffs at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on May 20, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Heat defeated the Pacers 101-93. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Josh MartinNBA Lead WriterMay 20, 2012

I see you there, Indiana Pacers, looking all sad and disappointed after surrendering Game 4 to the Miami Heat and, by extension, the golden opportunity to go back to South Beach with a 3-1 series lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Don't fret, though. There's hope yet for a surprise trip to the Eastern Conference finals. All you need to do is play to your strengths and you'll be fine, even if LeBron James and Dwyane Wade go bonkers again.

More specifically, if you're the Pacers, getting the ball inside to Roy Hibbert and David West should be item No. 1 on the agenda. Those two combined for fewer points (18) and shots (17) than Danny Granger, who had 20 points on 18 shots all to himself.

This, after they racked up 33 points on 29 shots—along with 27 rebounds, three assists and five blocks—in a blowout of the Heat in Game 3.

Miami doesn't have anyone who can handle the size of Indy's front court, especially with Chris Bosh sidelined by a lower abdominal strain. Hibbert and West don't necessarily need to shoot or get the ball inside every time down the floor, but the more often they do, the better off the Pacers will be.

And the more those two are allowed to dominate on the inside, the better and more wide-open the shots will be on the outside for the likes of Granger, Paul George, George Hill and Darren Collison.

It's merely a matter of execution for Indy.

Can the Pacers get the ball inside against Miami's stout perimeter defense? And will the Pacers remember to feed the ball into the post when the going gets tough and the urge to panic sets in?

If Indy can avoid resorting to jump shots and work from the inside out, then a series win over the preseason NBA title favorites is well within reach.

If not, it'll be nap time for Naptown, just when things started to seem to promising at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

 

 

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