The Indiana Pacers came out scorching hot to start Game 3 against the Miami Heat. They were getting the ball down to Roy Hibbert and he seemed to be untouchable while also holding the powerful Heat offense to only 14 first-quarter points. The Heat road hot second-half shooting and their home-court advantage to not only win but do so by a healthy 12-point margin. The Pacers are now in a sticky situation as a loss in Game 4 on the road could be detrimental to their playoff run.
The Pacers suffered from foul trouble throughout most of the game, limiting the minutes that Paul George and George Hill were able to see; this obviously hurt them as George and Hill are two key parts to getting Indiana’s offensive going. George and Hill need to find a way to defend without fouling going forward and stay on the floor.
Being known throughout the league for their stifling defensive, the Pacers faced a tough task late in the fourth quarter. With the game still close, the Heat moved to a smaller lineup forcing David West to guard the NBA‘s all-time three-point leader, Ray Allen, who was able to hit on four threes in the fourth quarter and preserve the victory for the Heat.
The fact is simple: if the Pacers want to go to the NBA finals, a win Monday night on the road is necessary as going down 3-1 and being forced to win three straight against the Heat just seems highly improbable. I expect a nice rebound from the Pacers, as more often then not, they have been able to respond with their backs against the wall, which is certainly where they find themselves now.