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Indiana Pacers vs. Miami Heat Game 1 NBA Preview & Free Pick

Indiana vs Miami Handicapping

Is there any way on God’s green earth that that the Indiana Pacers can take out the Miami Heat in their Eastern Conference finals series that begins tonight?

Eastern Conference
Indiana Pacers (0-0) at Miami Heat (0-0)
Wednesday, May 22
American Airlines Arena, Miami
8:30 p.m. EST
Spread – Heat -7.5 at SBO
O/U – 182.5

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Not much, but when the teams take the court in Game 1 we’ll get a sneak preview of how the Pacers will try to accomplish the near-impossible:

No doubt Indiana coach Frank Vogel has told his team that they will have to win most of the battles that occur within 10 feet of the hoop – both offensively and defensively.

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The Pacers have an advantage over the Heat on the glass, where Indiana led the NBA in rebounding margin and the Heat were dead last. How that plays out tonight will give at least some indication of whether the Pacers can make this a long and interesting series or will go quietly sometime next week before we tear the May page off the kitchen calendar.

Gobs of pressure will be on Indiana’s front line of David West, Roy Hibbert and Paul George to pile up a significant rebounding advantage over the likes over Chris Andersen, Udonis Haslem and the contact-averse Chris Bosh.

If the Heat hold their own on the glass tonight, the Pacers won’t be able to take this game deep into the second half.

Miami has lost one game in the playoffs thus far (to Chicago in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semis), and in that one the Heat were caught off guard when the Bulls crashed the boards and earned 46-32 rebounding edge. [ad-6571516]

The Heat quickly figured things out after that, though, and dominated over the next four games.

There is also pressure on Indiana point guard George Hill to both take care of the basketball and make a few shots to clear things out for Hibbert, George and West. Hill has been solid throughout the playoffs, and the Pacers feel that he gives them an edge at the one over Miami’s Mario Chalmers.

Comparisons are difficult, though, because Chalmers’s job is basically to stay out of the way of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade once the ball crosses halfcourt.

Of course, beating the Heat is easier said than done, and every plan can be tossed into a waste basket when your team turns the ball over and James has the ball in the open court.

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There is a school of thought that the Heat, who haven’t played since polishing off the Bulls a week ago, will show the same rust exhibited in Game 1 of the Chicago series after sweeping Milwaukee and sitting for 8 days.

Maybe.

Maybe the Heat will be in auto mode and wait to see if the Pacers will pack a punch in this series. Not looking for a rout in Game 1 as the teams feel out each other.

Indiana plus the points in this one.

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About Lawrence Paul

Lawrence Paul is back in the saddle as a regular contributor to the Cappers Picks Blog. He's got an AMAZING knack for predicting when a team will have a letdown! Stick with our resident gambling experts sports betting tips all season long!


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