Indiana Pacers vs. Miami Heat Game Time: 8:30 pm EST
Indiana Pacers vs. Miami Heat TV Coverage: ESPN
NBA Playoff Odds at JustBet: Miami -6 Total: 183

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Monday NBA Playoff Analysis: With the Miami Heat leading 2-1, the Indiana Pacers will look to even the series and look to regain home court advantage in game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals from American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

The Miami Heat took game 3 with a 99-87 win over Indiana last Saturday night. The Heat recovered from a sluggish start in the first quarter, and outscored the Pacers 61-45 in the second Heat to seal the victory. LeBron James led all scorers with 26 points, and Dwayne Wade added 23. Ray Allen scored 16 points in the second half off the bench hitting a barrage of 3 pointers to bury Indiana. It was somewhat a sloppy game marred by turnovers as Indiana had 17 and Miami had 15. Indiana looked like the better team in the first half, yet Miami made a late charge in the second quarter to cut the deficit to 4 at the end of the half. The Heat carried over the momentum to the second half, to which Indiana had no answer. Paul George led the Pacers with 17 points, and again struggled from the field hitting just 5 of 13 attempts. Lance Stephenson, who in the prior two games averaged 21 points, struggled to get into a rhythm, and only finished with 10 points. Stephenson has struggled in Miami his whole career, and Saturday night was more of the same. One bright spot for Indiana was the play of forward Luis Scola, who at times dominated Chris Bosh, scoring at will on the Miami center. Scola scored 8 points in just 13 minutes, and had the highest +/- of all Indiana players (+9). Another key stat was the 3-point shooting, as Indiana struggled for the first time in this series, hitting just 28.6% of their 3-point attempts, after shooting better than 42% in games 1 and 2.

Indiana backers might have a sour taste in their mouth after game 3, including myself, but that is no reason not to back them in game 4. Miami really turned it up on the defensive end in the second half, and at times Indiana looked lost. A key stat in game 3 was Rashard Lewis, who was assigned to guard David West. Lewis finished with zero points, yet his +/- was an astounding +21. Lewis completely took West out of the game, and Indiana had no response after that. It almost baffled me at times of how successful Indiana was with Luis Scola on the floor yet coach Frank Vogel didn’t integrate him into the game plan more. Each game of this series has been different. In game 1 we saw Indiana score an uncharacteristic 107 points, and game 2 was a tightly contested defensive game. Game 3 we saw a tale of two halves, and for game 4 I think we see something completely different. I think Indiana coach Frank Vogel will make the adjustments, and I expect Indiana to take game 4. The Pacers know they can ill-afford to go down 3-1, and they actually have been better on the road this year in the playoffs. Miami might have a 2-1 series lead, but they haven’t been the completely dominant team in this series by any stretch. I think we see another tightly contested contest on Monday night, and I like Indiana to steal a win in game 4 and take back home court.


Indiana Pacers vs. Miami Heat Free NBA Playoff Pick: Indiana +6 Under 183.5
Indiana Pacers vs. Miami Heat Game Prediction: Indiana 89 Miami 87



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