Miami Heat: The Pace is Set for Eastern Conference Finals

Paul George-USA Today Sports

Many are anticipating — even wishfully thinking — that the Miami Heat will go to the NBA Finals again this year. Nevertheless, after watching last night’s game, if LeBron James and Dwayne Wade thought that it would be an express ride into the Finals, they were wrong: the Indiana Pacers will not go down without a fight.

Perhaps James and Wade will like to reconsider wanting to play against the Pacers instead the New York Knicks after Game 1?

Although it was only Game 1, one must not ignore the obvious — the Pacers are not intimated by His Majesty and the Heat collectively. The pace has been set: if the Heat want to go to the Finals, they are going to have to play smart, hard, and up to the final second.

Again, this was only the first game. In the semi-finals, the Heat faced the Chicago Bullslost Game 1 at home, and then won the next four. But the Pacers are not the Bulls, are they? After all, they didn’t win Game 1.

Could they have won last night’s game? Objectively speaking, without a doubt. The Pacers came to play basketball and they played all four quarters and overtime. It was a close game and from the looks of things, this series will be decided by who plays the hardest. It may even go seven games.

Not that Eric Spoelstra and the Heat need me to say this, but if they want to go to the Finals again, they will need to tighten up on their offense, defense, and be ready to play every second of the game; this Pacers team have made it known that they see the Heat merely as a “another team”. This means that the Pacers believe that they can beat the Heat and win this series.

In any event, the pace has been set: this will not be a four-game sweep. This will be a tug-of-war. The Heat must play hard, or they will go home earlier than expected.

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