Pacers vs. Heat: Roy Hibbert and David West Key to Indiana Forcing Game 7

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Pacers vs. Heat: Roy Hibbert and David West Key to Indiana Forcing Game 7

The Indiana Pacers must receive big games from big men Roy Hibbert and David West if they're to force a Game 7 with the up-tempo and supremely athletic Miami Heat

Sure, stopping LeBron James and Dwayne Wade in the open floor seems like it should be the primary goal for the Pacers, especially after their dominance in that area in Game 5. But Indiana can limit Miami's fast break opportunities by slowing the game down and feeding Hibbert and West in the post, one place where they have a distinct advantage.

That will lead to a slower, methodical and more controlled of tempo that is certainly in the Pacers favor and should keep the Heat from frequently breaking out. 

Frank Vogel's bunch shot six-of-21 from the three-point arc in their most recent defeat, and Hibbert had only eight points on 10 shots. It was a stark contrast to their impressive Game 3 win, when they shot only 14 three-pointers, made eight of them, and Hibbert hoisted 16 shots en route to a respectable 19 points. 

The Heat are attacking the 2012 All-Star center on pick and rolls and are cognizant his whereabouts when he rolls to the basket. They're keeping a weak-side defender near Hibbert and are pressuring the wing passer trying to get him the ball in the post. 

West simply must become more consistent with his mid-range jumper and can't be afraid to get to the bucket and draw fouls. He's still a relatively sound finisher at the rim, anyway. 

Indiana cannot bank on a hot outside shooting night to lead them to victory this evening. That's not their forte. 

They're a balanced scoring club and clearly have the edge in the painted area. 

The Pacers must establish their big men and get Hibbert and West early touches to exploit Miami's weak front court and keep James and Wade from piecing together another game of highlight reels en route to the Eastern Conference Finals.

 

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