Indiana Pacers vs. Miami Heat: Postgame Grades and Analysis for Miami
The Miami Heat heard all of the talk about the Indiana Pacers posing a very real threat to them in the Eastern Conference. They temporarily squelched that talk on Sunday night, pounding the Pacers by a score of 105-91 and getting a little payback. Indiana had won the previous two meetings this season.
The Heat used a late surge in the second quarter to build a 10-point lead at the half and never looked back. They led by as much as 23 and survived a couple of mini-runs by Indiana in the final 24 minutes to coast to an easy win.
With the victory, Miami extended its winning streak to 18 games.
Point Guard: Mario Chalmers, A+
Chalmers put together one of his best performances of the season. The Heat point guard scored 26 points on 7-of-9 shooting, hitting on five of his six three-point attempts. Talk about efficient.
Chalmers also did a nice job getting to the free-throw line, as he connected on all seven of his attempts from the charity stripe. He played some nice, aggressive defense as well, doing a very nice job on George Hill and coming up with a pair of steals.
Chalmers pulled down seven rebounds to boot.
When 'Rio is playing that well, Miami is almost impossible to beat.
Shooting Guard: Dwyane Wade, A
Wade was spectacular on both ends of the floor in this one.
The star guard finished with 23 points on 9-of-16 shooting and came up with a season-high six steals. He played the passing lanes like a free safety all night, and if he wasn't getting thefts, he was impacting passes and taking the Pacers out of their rhythm.
Wade was also very aggressive offensively, with good shot selection all night and finishing around the rim.
Just another day at the office for Wade.
Small Forward: LeBron James, B+
This was actually a quiet night for LeBron James, as he only scored 13 points. However, he did it off a rather efficient 50 percent clip (5-of-10), and he also dished out seven assists and did his best to get his teammates involved throughout the entire game.
James also had one of his patented chase-down blocks, swatting away a Paul George layup to stop a small Indiana rally. He did a tremendous job on George all night, playing a significant part in holding the All-Star to 2-of-11 shooting. George has torched Miami this year, and LeBron did his best to make sure that didn't happen again.
James also pulled down six rebounds and, on the bad side, he committed four turnovers.
Not dominant, but a solid all-around performance by LeBron.
Power Forward: Udonis Haslem, B
Udonis Haslem only played 18 minutes and didn't register a single point, but that's not why he is out there. He is out there to play some defense, and he did just that.
Haslem did a very nice job on West, forcing him to catch the ball far from the basket so he couldn't easily back him down. He isn't strong enough to handle West when he gets deep post position, but he made sure that didn't occur most of the time he was defending the Pacers big man.
Haslem also recorded three rebounds.
Center: Chris Bosh, A
Bosh was brilliant. From the get-go, he was draining shots from all over the floor, tallying 24 points on 11-of-15 shooting. He even knocked down a corner three, his 11th trifecta of the season.
Bosh didn't just make his imprint on the game on the offensive end, however.
The Miami big man was also a presence defensively, swatting away three shots and doing an incredible job on the larger Roy Hibbert.
Perhaps what was most impressive about Bosh on Sunday night was his assertiveness. He showed no hesitation in taking any of his shots.
6th Man: Ray Allen, C+
Ray Allen was merely OK in the victory.
Yes, he did have 11 points in 20 minutes and wasn't terribly inefficient, shooting 3-of-7 from the floor, but he connected on only one of his four three-point attempts and compiled a minus-three plus/minus stat. When your team wins by 14 and you are a minus-three, that is obviously not a good sign.
Allen is not known for his defense, so he deserves a bit of a pass in that regard, but he clearly had a negative impact on that end of the floor.
Rest of Heat Bench, D+
Overall, the Miami bench was pretty poor against Indiana. There is no way around it.
Shane Battier had possibly one of his worst outings of the season. He was routinely abused by West in the post, and while you cannot necessarily fault him for that, considering West is significantly bigger, he committed five fouls in 13 minutes of play, including a very silly foul on Lance Stephenson which briefly got Indiana back into the game.
Norris Cole put together a minus-16 plus/minus. No more needs to be said for his performance other than that.
Chris Andersen was actually decent, scoring six points and doing a solid job of setting screens. He finished with a plus-one.
Outside of Birdman, however, the Heat reserves have certainly had better days.