The Indiana Pacers are coming off of a very disappointing 12-point loss in Game 4, but the series is not over just yet. Indiana has shown the ability to battle back with their backs against the walls in each of the first two playoff series’ this year, and they have another chance to do just that. With the series standing at 3-1 in favor of the Miami Heat, the Pacers will have to win three straight games in order to move on to the NBA Finals.
So the question now becomes, can the Pacers rebound in Game 5 and make this a series once again?
It’s going to be very difficult now that the Heat have the taste of blood in their mouths, but it is very possible. The Pacers showed that they are more than capable of playing at a higher level than the Heat in Game 1, and they have shown flashes of that in the last couple games as well. That being said, their issues is that they are unable to play at a high level like that throughout an entire game.
Paul George and Lance Stephenson are going to need to take control of this game for Indiana tonight and force a Game 6 in Miami. David West will need to play the leadership role that he has played all season long, but he will have to keep his team focused and disciplined all game long. Roy Hibbert will need to do more than score zero points, even if that means that he works extra hard on the offensive glass because Frank Vogel’s gameplan doesn’t fit him well. George Hill is going to need to pass the basketball and get Indiana into their offense much quicker, and take care of the basketball to avoid letting Miami get easy transition buckets. The bench will have to come into the game and either extend the lead or at the very least keep the lead for the starters.
There are a lot of question marks about whether or not the Pacers can hang with the Heat, and we will learn a lot about this Indiana basketball team tonight. Will they fold under the pressure and disappointment of the series? Or will they realize that the series is not over yet, and that they can easily get right back into the series and force the Game 7 that they have been talking about all season long with just two wins. It will be a very interesting game tonight, but don’t expect the Pacers to lay down and roll over for the Heat.