2013 NBA Playoffs: Indiana Pacers Are A Better Team Than Miami Heat

By Ben Grimaldi
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals in tonight, and while many people are expecting the Miami Heat to prevail over the Indiana Pacers, I cannot help but ask why? If we’ve learned one thing in the first six games of this series, it’s that the Pacers are a better team than the Heat.

Argue all you want about that point, but it’s true.

The Pacers have outplayed the Heat in almost the entire series, except for Game 3 and the third quarter of Game 5 when LeBron James enforced his will on the Pacers. Perhaps that’s the biggest point; the Heat aren’t a great team, but rather a collection of great talent. And at this point even their talent must be questioned because aside from James, where exactly is the talent? Dwyane Wade is hobbled shell of himself, Chris Bosh is overrated and doesn’t seem to have the heart to play physical basketball and Ray Allen can still make shots but he’s not exactly a great player anymore either.

No, the Heat aren’t a great team by any stretch of the imagination, but they are playing against a team who plays like one. The Pacers share the ball, play tough, physical basketball and even though they have a star in Paul George, they still rely on more than just him to win games. Roy Hibbert has dominated the paint in this series and Indiana continues to get solid play from David West and George Hill, who have allowed the Pacers to be the better team. Remember, this series could already be over if Frank Vogel had done a better coaching job in Game 1, which the Heat won in overtime.

The Pacers have out rebounded the Heat in every game this series, which means not only are they making the Heat work for their shots, they are also limiting Miami’s second chance opportunities. Even more impressively, the Pacers have grabbed more offensive rebounds in every game except Game 5, when they tied the Heat with six apiece, which doesn’t allow the Heat to get out in transition and run their fast break.

Yes, the Indiana Pacers are a better team than the Miami Heat right now, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re going to win the series tonight. LeBron James is the best player on the planet, and he can easily will the Heat to victory. D-Wade is still capable of doing the spectacular on occasion, but it won’t be an upset if the Pacers pull out the win tonight. After all they’ve been the better team in the series so far, but the best team doesn’t always win, especially when supreme talent takes over.

Tonight we’ll find out just how much talent the Miami Heat has.

You can chat with or follow Ben on twitter @BenGrimaldi

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