As the day goes on, the sports stations, critics and blogs continue the argument about who benefited more from last night’s matchup.
Most people will side with the Indiana Pacers purely because they pulled out the one-point win. Others will choose the Miami Heat for their ability to hang in tough without the help of Ray Allen or Dwyane Wade — down the stretch — even though they blew another fourth quarter lead. But if you ask me the team from South Beach won for losing.
When the game initially began, it seemed as though Miami felt the same. The team was shaky and looked downright scared. They looked content to lose, especially after watching Heat coach Erik Spoelstra continuously leave one of his key contributors (Shane Battier) sitting on the bench.
Then Udonis Haslem came in and changed the energy. LeBron James started to play better, Roy Hibbert went silent and the bruising started. It was a little wrinkle that led to flagrant fouls, jawing and a lot of undercover cheap shots.
The game went from one-sided to highly competitive. Which is why the Heat should try to avoid the top spot in the Eastern Conference.
If the playoff standings were to remain the same as they are today, Chris Bosh and company would be able to stay out of reach of the Chicago Bulls or Brooklyn Nets. And in turn, the Pacers would have to put up with the seven game series of feisty fights and beatings before the Conference Finals.
Call it trying to take the easy way or the road less traveled, but after three long seasons of playoff basketball, dodging would be the most beneficial play. Besides, if we know anything about the Heat we know that they won’t even make the cautious route easy.