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 -8 Total: 182.5

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Friday NBA Playoff Analysis: The Miami Heat, leading the series 3-2, will make their second attempt to close out the series when they host the Indiana Pacers in game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Friday night from American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

The Indiana Pacers staved off elimination on Wednesday night defeating Miami 93-90 in one of the more bizarre games of this years playoffs. Not only was LeBron James in foul trouble early, but you had the antics of Lance Stephenson blowing in LeBron James’ ear generating quite a few internet memes. James picked up his 5th foul early in the 3rd quarter, and only played a total of 24 minutes in the game finishing with just 7 points. Indiana’s Paul George had a memorable 4th quarter scoring 21 of his 37 points to lead the Pacers to victory. David West added 19, while Roy Hibbert added 10 points and 12 rebounds. The Pacers shot 47.4% from the field, and hit on 6 of 21 attempts beyond the arc. The rest of Miami’s starters had to step up in James’ absence; Chris Bosh led the team with 20 points, while Dwayne Wade and Rashard Lewis each had 18. Lewis was hot from 3-point land, hitting 6 of 9 attempts. The Heat shot 45% from the field, and an astounding 48.4% from the 3-point land. They were uncharacteristically sloppy in terms of ball security as they had 17 turnovers, their highest amount this series.

If there is one thing that is a sure thing tonight, LeBron James will not be in foul trouble, so I can expect him to be big tonight. While the Heat won by 12 points in both meetings, the line opened at 6.5. In elimination games during this years playoffs, the Pacers are 4-0. While they won in game 5, they didn’t play their best game of the series by any stretch. I think it’s evident we haven’t seen a truly great performance out of Indiana since game 1. While LeBron James was in foul trouble, other starters’ minutes went up as Bosh, Lewis, and Wade played the most minutes of any game in this series. Granted, Indiana’s starters played a lot of minutes, but they are a bit younger and I don’t think the minutes will affect them as much. In James’ career after scoring 15 points or less, his teams are 2-4 in the next game. While I think we’ll get a superb effort from Miami, we’ll also get the best effort from Indiana we’ve seen in the playoffs. The Pacers know they can hang with Heat, heck they took them to seven games last year. While I think Miami closes the series out tonight, I think the Pacers play them extremely tough. Miami wins, Indiana covers. If you like the Heat, get down on it now. If you like the Pacers, I’d wait closer to game time as I think you’ll definitely get the better number.

Indiana Pacers vs. Miami Heat Free NBA Playoff Pick: Indiana +8 Under 182.5
Indiana Pacers vs. Miami Heat Game Prediction: Miami 88 Indiana 84

 

 

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