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Indiana Pacers vs. Miami Heat Game 2 NBA Preview & Free Pick

Indiana vs Miami Handicapping

Game 2 of the Eastern Conference playoff finals can’t tip off soon enough for Indiana coach Frank Vogel, who has spent the last 36 hours being second-guessed – and second-guessing himself – for leaving his best big man on the bench in the final seconds of Game 1 and watching LeBron James and the Heat take the Pacers’ lunch money.

Eastern Conference
Indiana Pacers (0-1) at Miami Heat (1-0)
Wednesday, May 24
American Airlines Arena, Miami
8:30 p.m. EST
Spread – Heat -7.5
O/U – 180.5

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James’s game-winning drive for an uncontested layup scored with under a second remaining left everyone scratching their heads. Hibbert was benched so a smaller lineup would be able to switch on defense, beginning the question of why that type of lineup was needed with just 2.2 seconds left.

Instead, Paul George overcommitted on James, the lane opened up like the Red Sea, LBJ had the easiest two of his 30 points, the Heat had a 103-102 overtime win, the Pacers had blown a chance to steal home-court advantage and alter the complexion of the series, and anti-Heat fans across North America were screaming WTF and shaking their heads.

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So the Pacers, emotionally drained after blowing a huge opportunity, have to schlepp out on the court and try to do it all over again tonight. No easy task, even if Game 1 gave them confidence that they can actually hang with the Heat and make this a series that most everyone would be over in 5 games max.

Despite the deflating loss, heading in Game 2 Indiana has to be at least a little encouraged that the Heat appeared to be what Vogel said they were prior to the start of the series – just another team, albeit a good one.

The Pacers had modest edges over Miami in free throws (75-64 percent, 3-point shooting and rebounding (43-38). As expected, the front line of Hibbert, George and David West was more than solid, combining for 72 points. [ad-6571516]

Miami, meanwhile, has to be feeling pretty good as the Heat players towel off from a day at the beach and get ready for that short limo ride to the area. The Heat may have taken Indiana’s best shot, and in the process shaken off the rust from a week-long layover after the Chicago series.

The defending champs need just three more wins to get to The Finals again, and can start to twist the knife tonight in Game 2.

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Heat games are starting to trend over as the playoffs grind on and teams wear down trying to defend Miami’s spread offense.

Over players on Game 1 would have cashed even without overtime, and oddsmakers have given everyone a bonus by dropping the O/U another point, to 180.5.

It’s a buying opportunity for over players, especially considering that the Heat are unlikely to miss 9 free throws tonight. Over is the play here, before the number rises in late betting.

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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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