If you covered the teams' respective practices Thursday, you might have been led to believe otherwise.
While the Pacers spoke confidently of their position, following a 103-102 overtime loss, the Heat sounded as if they had narrowly avoided calamity. No one seemed especially proud of anything that had occurred in Game 1, other than the ability to persevere and produce the desired outcome.
"We have to play better," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.
He has been saying that for some time, even as Miami has won 46 of its past 49 games overall—including nine of 10 during the postseason.
"We know we can get better," LeBron James said, a day after saving the Heat with a buzzer-beating layup in overtime. "We watched the film. We had 20-plus turnovers, which is uncharacteristic of us, some miscues defensively. And they could say the same thing."
Certainly, the Pacers need more from their guards than they got in Game 1. They'll need to do a better job countering Chris Andersen, who made all seven of his shot attempts for Miami. They'll need to sort out their late-game defense, whether it's their coach Frank Vogel keeping Roy Hibbert in the game, or Paul George playing more fundamentally sound.
So what do the Heat need to do?
Five things will suffice.
(All quotes for this piece were collected over the course of the author's coverage of the Miami Heat for the Palm Beach Post.)