I am not sure if the sports media just has nothing to talk about during the intervening days between the start of the Heat/Pacers series, and maybe it’s fun to speculate about “what if’s” when you have to fill up air time and cyberspace with content, but be rest assured the Pacers will not beat the Heat in this series.
I say this because I believed the underdog Pacers would upset the Heat last year, the Pacers had the Heat where they wanted them, with no Chris Bosh and up 2 games to 1, but then the Pacers lost the next three games by 8, 32, and 12. For anyone, like me, who loves team ball, the underdog, small markets, and anything to do with Indiana basketball, the Pacers are a sucker pick—don’t buy it. The bottom line is the NBA is all about talented, mature grade A individual players surrounding themselves with the right role players.
The problem with the Pacers is that they are a very talented bunch of grade B players, but they do not have any grade A players. They do not have anybody who can consistently take over a game and set the tone offensively and defensively night after night. Don’t mistake the Pacers victory over the Knicks as any more than a victory over an inferior team. I watched the Knicks play the D-League Celtics and struggle. The Knicks have one grade A one-sided star player, but the overall talent drops off precipitously after that.
On the other hand, Miami has one grade overall AAA player in LeBron James who plays not only lights out offense, but lights out defense, and is inherently an unselfish player looking to help others make plays and they also have a grade A player in Dwayne Wade. Chris Bosh is not slouch either. Much like Michael Jordan, LeBron James has started to hit his stride as a great player with that uncanny ability to make the Norris Coles’, the Mario Chalmers’, and Mike Millers’ all look like Grade B players when they are really Grade C or Grade D players on any other team. The Heat like the Pacers have just as much or more team chemistry, but ultimately it’s talent that wins out. Having a player or two who are nearly unstoppable always tips a series to the more talented team, just ask the Denver Nuggets who got beat out by Stephen Curry and the rest of the Golden State Warriors.