The Indiana Pacers are facing yet another elimination game tonight against the Miami Heat in Game 6. It is expected to be a hard fought game, but most analysts and fans believe that the Heat will be able to close the series out. That being said, the Pacers do have a fighting chance to force a Game 7 on their home floor that they worked hard for all season long. There are three keys to the Pacers’ hopes of forcing Game 7.
1. No Careless Turnovers that Lead to Transition
Miami is the type of team that feeds off of opposing teams’ mistakes, and that has been very evident in a couple of games in this series. The Pacers have to limit the easy points in Game 6 if they want to win a game down in Miami, and taking care of the basketball will help them do just that. Most of the major momentum swings in Miami’s favor in the series have been because the Pacers got careless with the basketball and allowed the Heat to get out and run.
2. Move the Basketball and Trust Each Other
The Pacers have had a hard time swinging the basketball and playing team oriented ball like they did at the beginning of the season. They have one of the most talented starting lineups in the NBA, and they are all more than capable of scoring. That being said, they seem to have issues with passing to each other consistently, and that has lost them more than a few games in the playoffs. If they want to beat Miami tonight, they are going to need to trust each other and move the basketball for open looks.
3. Team Leaders Must Step Up
Most people would think that this point would be more than obvious and that it doesn’t need to be said. Unfortunately, that is not the case with the Pacers. Paul George came through with a huge game in Game 5, but the Pacers will need him to come up big once again, along with David West, Lance Stephenson, and Roy Hibbert. The Pacers do not have more “star” power than the Heat, but they do have players that are more than capable of taking the team and putting it on their shoulders.
Overall, tonight’s game is going to be a very nervous experience for any true Pacers fan. The team has had its ups and downs, but they still have a chance to win two games in a row and make it to their goal of the NBA Finals. If they are able to win Game 6 and force a Game 7 at home, you have to like their chances of being able to pull out yet another close series.