The Indiana Pacers showed up to play in Game 3, and after a good first quarter they looked ready to steal Game 3 in Miami. Roy Hibbert and David West played well early, but down the stretch the Pacers gagged away the game.
The easy way out is to blame Lance Stephenson for engaging in a one on one battle with LeBron James, but it’s not like he did not produce. The problem is late in games the Pacers don’t have anyone with the experience or capabilities to run the offense consistently.
When Stephenson is the best option at point guard late in games, the Pacers stand little chance at closing the Miami Heat out in the fourth quarter. Indiana had 19 turnovers because none of their best players have a pass first mentality.
George Hill is a solid backup, but he is not good enough to be the starting point guard on a championship caliber team. As talented as Stephenson is, at his core he is a one on one scorer. That will cost the Pacers down the stretch much the same way Russell Westbrook costs the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Miami knows that the Pacers lack a true point guard, which is why they don’t panic in crunch time against Indiana. They simply let the Pacers get in their own way, and let the experience of Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Ray Allen carry them to victory.