The secret to defeating the Miami Heat lies with giants. That is what the Indiana Pacers learned in the 2013 NBA Eastern Conference Finals. In order to take down Miami, they must control the post and points in the paint. Well, Roy Hibbert and David West couldn’t carry the Pacers and the rest is history.
The Heat frontcourt hasn’t changed much from last year, while the Pacers’ big men continue to improve. They also recently added Andrew Bynum to the roster, but there has been no indication as to what his role will be with the team. With two star big men like West and Hibbert, Bynum is a luxury. What is more important for the Pacers is the output of West.
West and Indiana were in action Tuesday night against the Atlanta Hawks and the big man led the Pacers to a close win, 89-85. West had 22 points on 10-of-19 shooting with 10 rebounds, two assists and two steals. Those are way above his season averages of just 13 points and 6.6 rebounds.
It is this simple, if Indiana wants to win the East, West must be a consistent power throughout the playoffs. He cannot just show up for a game here and a game there each series. He must score 20-plus points and grab 10-plus rebounds each and every playoff game, especially if it comes down to a Heat-Pacers Eastern Conference Finals. In the 2013 ECF, West averaged 20 points per game through the first three games compared to just 14 points in the final four games.
Everyone knows the key to beating Miami is through the inside, so West and Hibbert will both be crucial to the success of Indiana. West is easily capable of averaging a double-double as he is a strong, aggressive power forward. Frank Vogel will have to continually find a way to keep West aggressive on both ends. The Pacers have the exact pieces to beat the Heat, it is just up to those big men to deliver.