The Indiana Pacers came a couple seconds away from stealing Game 1 of their 2013 NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Finals overtime match on TNT with the defending champion and number one seeded Miami Heat. Only a Lebron James drive to the rim for a layup ruined the upset and likewise set up what should be a thrilling Game 2 tonight.
Pacers coach Frank Vogel took a lot of “heat” for not inserting Roy Hibbert back into the lineup on the final play of the game. With Hibbert’s size out, James was able to get to the basket with relative ease and score as time expired to secure the win for the Heat. Even with James’ buzzer beater putting the Pacers into a hole, they now know they can hang with the best, on the road, and still have a great chance to take away home court advantage.
Paul George, David West and Roy Hibbert were all huge for the Pacers in game in scoring 27, 26 and 19 points each, respectively. The Pacers could use more production out of the other two starters George Hill and Lance Stephenson tonight. In the clinching game against the Knicks, Stephenson had 25 points in 9 of 13 shooting. In Game 1 versus the Heat, he was only 2 of 10 for 7 points.
The Heat shed any fears that Dwayne Wade wouldn’t be ready to play as the guard was on the court over 40 minuts and scored 19 points in Game 1. Only Lebron James put in more minutes in scoring a triple-double with 30 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. If not for Lebron the Heat would be staring at an 0-1 hole and feeling uneasy heading into tonight.
Bench scoring for the Heat was nearly nonexistent in Game 1 and could prove a factor in tonight’s game if Ray Allen, Norris Cole and Shane Battier can get going. In Game 1 that trio only shot 2 of 16. Some of that ineffectiveness has to be attributed to the Pacers tough and big defense.
Tonight’s second game of the NBA 2013 Playoffs Eastern Conference Finals pitting the resilient Indiana Pacers against the Miami Heat tips off at 8:30/7:30c in high definition (HD) exclusively on TNT. If you have a cable or satellite service subscription including TNT then you have the option of watching a free online live streaming version of Game 2 in Miami here at TNT Overtime via a mobile phone, iPad, laptop or other Internet connected device. Predicting tonight’s game is like flipping a coin after the Game 1 finish so I’m going to take the Heat for another win by a score of 97-93, simply because they’re the number one seed and playing at home.