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Miami Heat vs. Indiana Pacers Game 6 NBA Preview & Free Pick

Miami vs Indiana Handicapping

LeBron James is back to his default setting, returning to what worked in high school and AAU basketball, and how it was done when the Cleveland Cavaliers consisted of just him and a bunch of cadavers.

Eastern Conference
Miami Heat (3-2) at Indiana Pacers (2-3)
Saturday, June 1
Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis
8:30 p.m. EST
Spread – Heat -2.5
O/U – 183

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Give me the ball and get out of the way.

That was the LBJ we saw on display in the latter stages of Game 5, when it started to look like the Indiana Pacers were actually serious about snatching another game in Miami.

James reduced teammates Ray Allen, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade to bit players on a big stage, taking more than one of every three of his team’s shots (26 shots, and Bosh/Allen/Wade 21 total) finishing with 30/8/8 as the Heat bought some breathing room with a comfortable 90-79 win.

“His engine in the third quarter was incredible,” said Miami coach Erik Spoelstra. “He was tireless, he was making plays on both ends of the court, rebounding, covering so much ground defensively and then making virtually every play for us offensively.

It’s really remarkable.”

And with Chris Andersen suspended for tonight’s possible elimination game in Indianapolis, James will no doubt try put the hammer down again – especially if the Pacers jump out early.

The best player in the game today (by a wide margin) certainly feels this one is too important to leave to chance, such as whether Wade’s knee allows him to cut, or whether jumpers from Bosh or Allen fall or not. [ad-6571516]

And when/if that moment comes and James decides to go rogue, we’ll all know it. And then it will be up to Indiana coach Frank Vogel to make a tough decision.

Vogel has for the most part trusted his team to play solid defense and has resisted the urge to bring all hands on deck to control James.

It cost the Pacers Game 1 when Roy Hibbert was left rotting on the bench and Paul George couldn’t stop James for even 2.4 seconds. And it cost the Pacers when James went down on the block in Game 3 and Indiana couldn’t figure out when to double-team him.

Perhaps it doesn’t matter what adjustments Indiana makes. Maybe James is just so good that he will beat double-teams and is so Jordan-dominant that he will carry this team to victory somehow, some way.

It worked with MJ, and it just might work with LBJ.

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If the Pacers backcourt (Stephenson/Hill) scores 5 total points like it did in Game 5, Indiana goes home for a long, hot summer. But that won’t happen at home, so we like this one to go the full 7 games. George isn’t intimidated by James, at least when the Pacers have the ball.

And with Andersen out, the Heat will have to concentrate their defense on Roy Hibbert. This one sets up well for Pacers, assuming James doesn’t go off for 50. Indiana to win outright.

Totals players might want to bang the under – Indiana will try to control tempo at home; it’s in the Pacers’ interest to shoot late in shot clock, forcing Miami to defend for 20 seconds each possession.

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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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