It was a fine effort by West and made it even more frustrating for Pacer fans to watch their team lose to the Miami Heat. How much better can the team play than it did? That’s hard to answer but the Pacers have to find a way.
West put together an excellent 41 minutes against a tough Miami defense. He was virtually unstoppable although it would have been nice had he not made four turnovers. But he was 11-of-17 from the floor and 4-of-8 from the free-throw line for 26 points. He also had five rebounds and an assist.
It was one of West’s best games for the playoffs. Yet it came in a stinging loss to the Heat. He’s averaging 16.3 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game.
What he and the Pacers need to do in Game 2 is play tighter defense on the entire Miami squad and keep the Heat under 100 points. If that happens, the Pacers could take the series back to Indy at 1-1. They certainly don’t want to go back with a 2-0 deficit.
It wouldn’t hurt if West has another big game, mind you, with 26 points or more. That’s not expected to happen against Miami, although West would love stepping up his defense a few notches to beat the Heat that way.