NBA Miami Heat

2013 NBA Playoffs: 5 Keys To Miami Heat’s Game 3 Victory Over Indiana Pacers

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Keys To Miami Heat Victory In Game 3

Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

After two very close games, the Indiana Pacers fell to the Miami Heat in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals in a brutal way. A series that most expected to be full of close contests took a turn for the ugly for the Pacers, as they dropped their first home game of the postseason.

The Heat didn’t play well in the first two games. Their shooters seemingly forgot the art of shooting, they settled for jumpers and allowed Roy Hibbert, among others, to go off and carry the offensive load for the Pacers. Game 3 was different in so many ways.

LeBron James really didn’t have any help over the first two games, but was able to take a more laid back role in Game 3. He didn’t have to force anything as pretty much every Heat player that played significant minutes gave the team a lift. Meanwhile, the Pacers found themselves in a hole early, something that the team is not comfortable with.

While one game doesn’t chance that much and every game in this series is sure to be different, Miami played as close to a perfect game as it could. The homework was done and just about every error that hindered the Heat in these playoffs seemed all but a distant memory.

The Pacers are going to sit down, study the film and make adjustments for Game 4. However, if the Heat can continue doing what they did in Game 3, Indiana simply doesn’t stand a chance.

So what did the Heat do exactly, and what were the deciding factors of Game 3?


Vytis is a Miami Heat and NBA columnist for RantSports. You can follow him on Twitter: @VytisLasaitis

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Limiting Turnovers

Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

This is something I have already talked about a lot. The biggest problem for the Heat in these playoffs has been turnovers. Collectively, the champions have been extremely sloppy and a lot of their turnovers were unforced errors. In Game 3, Miami had only five turnovers, forcing Indiana to face a tough halfcourt defense for most of the game.

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LeBron James In The Post

Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

Paul George has done a decent job on James defensively this series, until LeBron turned his back to the basket and delivered the same punishment to the young stud as Kevin Durant had to sustain in last year’s finals. James was effective scoring off the glass when attacking in the low post and was distributing the ball when necessary.

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The Udonis Haslem – Chris Andersen Tandem

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The Heat were able to attack the paint a lot easier in Game 3, thanks to the great contributions by Haslem and Andersen. Haslem was lethal from mid-range, going 8-9 and Hibbert could no longer hide on Udonis and just camp in the paint. Birdman and Haslem combined for 12-13 shooting from the field, good for the most efficient 26 points you will ever get.

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Chris Bosh’s Great Start

Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

Bosh got off to a great start, and while he finished with just 15 points, his early shooting was key for the rest of the game. Bosh drained two early three-point shots and all of a sudden the floodgates opened. Hibbert could no longer stay on Bosh and tried his luck with Haslem, in order to be closer to the paint, but we all know how that worked out. Bosh’s hot start had a residual effect on the rest of the game.

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3-Point Shooting

Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

While James’ success in the post was probably the offensive highlight for Miami in Game 3, another offensive weapon out of the Heat’s arsenal made a quiet return – the 3-point shot. Miami’s shooters have mostly been off in these series, and while the Heat didn’t take many long-range shots in Game 3, they shot 42.9 percent from beyond the arc.