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Notes, quotes, postscripts from Heat's Game 2 loss

Postscripts from the Heat’s 97-93 loss to Indiana in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals, which is now tied at one win apiece:

### LeBron, predictably, was hard on himself for his two turnovers in the final minute (one with 43 seconds left, one with eight seconds). It was the first playoff game in his career in which he committed two turnovers in the final minute.

“I’m very disappointed in my judgment and plays down the stretch, but I’ll make up for them," he lamented afterward. "I made two mistakes tonight that hurt our team. That hurt more than anything – I let our teammates down. They expect me to make plays down the stretch. I came up short. That burns. The best thing about it is it isn’t college. It isn’t one loss and you’re done.”

LeBron explained the two turnovers thusly:

“First one, Ray had a pick and roll and David West put his hands up and was able to get his hands on the ball. Little careless on my part. If I could take it back, I would throw a bounce pass.

“Second one, I spun and saw Ray Allen wide open and was careless once again. I tried to throw it through the lane, and they were able to get their hand on it. [George Hill specifically]. Can’t happen in that situation, especially being down two.” He said he should have made a “jump pass” on that play.

Teammates, naturally, were supportive: “We’ll take LeBron in that position a million times,” Dwyane Wade said.

James closed with 36 points, eight rebounds, three assists and three steals – but also five turnovers.

### The Heat didn’t score over the final 1:43 of the game and scored just five points over the final 6:08.

### Paul George, blossoming into a star, scored 14 of his 22 in the second half. “He’s really good, he’s going to be a great,” said James, who slapped hands with him, good-naturedly, at the end of the third quarter. “I love competition. I try to stand up to the challenge.”

### This continues to be a surprising problem: The Heat closed 7 of 22 on threes and is shooting just 33 percent on three-pointers in postseason.

“The outside shot isn’t there for the guys who have been hitting all year,” James said. “We have to figure out a way to get our shooters into the game more. We have to get them some shots early in the game where they feel like they’re a part of the offense. It comes from me, Chris, D-Wade.”

### Wade closed with 14 points, continuing to score far less than his 21.2-point regular season average. He closed 6 of 14 from the field. “Anytime you lose at home in the playoffs, it stings,” Wade said. “We had opportunities. Offensively, I think we got good looks but just didn’t knock them down.”

### James said the “X-factor” was George Hill, who scored 18 points – including two free throws with 48 seconds left and two with eight seconds to go, accounting for the final four points of the game.

“This whole team is just showing great desire and heart and belief,” Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. “They believe they can win this series and they’re giving it all their might. They’re rising to the challenge. I’m very, very proud of them. We look like a true team.”

### Roy Hibbert shot only 13 for 34 against the Heat in three regular games, but he has been far more efficient in this series against several defenders -- Chris Bosh, Udonis Haslem, Chris Andersen and briefly, Joel Anthony. He was exceptional Friday, with 29 points and 10 rebounds.

After shooting 9 for 18 in Game 1, Hibbert shot 10 for 15, doing all of his damage in the paint, including hook shots, dunks and layups. And he shot 9 for 10 from the line. And unlike Game 1, Hibbert was in the game at the end.

“He’s giving great efforts on the offensive glass,” Vogel said. “Efficient scoring, great extra passing. Making winning plays.”

### David West struggled from the field (2 for 9) but hit a key basket with 1:59 left and also made 9 of 10 free throws. “David has incredible will to do whatever it takes to win a game,” Vogel said.

### West said: “They are the best team in the NBA. [But] our confidence hasn’t wavered.”

### The Heat again didn’t get enough from its starting power rotation players. Bosh scored 17 but his rebounding remains disturbingly deficient. After hauling in just two boards in Game 1, Bosh closed with five, giving him 15 in five games against Indiana this season.

"We just played at their tempo the whole night,” Bosh said. “We never really got to what we do. We’re just going to have to do a better job dictating tempo. Any time you give up 50 percent shooting this far into the season you are probably going to lose. They just pretty much choked the life out of us.”

### Haslem mustered just one point and three rebounds, with foul fouls, in nearly 14 minutes.

### Chris Andersen again had an impact, with seven points, three boards and a block, but played just 15 minutes. Because he expends so much injury, the Heat believes he would be less effective if he played a lot more. He made both his shots and is 31 for 37 in post season.

With Bosh and Andersen picking up three first half fouls, Spoelstra used Anthony for a 1:43 stretch before halftime.

### Another problem: The Pacers sustained their edge on the boards -- they outrebounded Miami by 45 in three regular season meetings, by five in Game 1 and by seven (39-32) in Game 2.

### Power rotation players Hibbert, West and Tyler Hansbrough (who had no points and two rebounds) combined for 42 points and 19 rebounds, compared with 25 and 14 combined for Bosh, Haslem, Andersen and Battier.

### Erik Spoelstra’s bottom line: “We pride ourselves in finishing. Particularly when we have leads, to be able to finish. We just weren’t able to to do it tonight.”

### The loss was just Miami’s fourth in its past 50 games.

### Neither team will practice Saturday. The series resumes Sunday in Indy, 8:30 p.m. start.        

Comments

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jmike

Let's see round 2 of play off when no though Heat would be in the play offs 3 years ago, NBA finals 2 years ago, and NBA champs last year. The team is far from perfect. Little low post presence, 27 in rebounding, Wade has a hurt knee, Reo has play terribly, Cole has cooled, Haslem is showing age, Lebron has 2 turnovers, all you moron can say is fire Spo.

taheati

Posted by: Exasperated | 05/25/2013 at 01:16 PM

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Exactly. Heat have to put Hibbert on his heels, take the air outta his wheels (and aggressiveness), but aside from Bosh (and grandpa Juwan), the Heat lack the length + post skillz among their bigs to pull it off.

Spo could matchup CB4 directly against Hibbert, but also risk early foul trouble -- especially at Indy.

Otherwise, Hibbert had his worst games against a) defensive bigs who matched his length + brawn (Chandler, Duncan) or outquicked (Garnett, even at 38) or b) smaller, active bigs w/post skills (Horford, Hickson).

Problematic: Howard isn't even on the active roster, I've no idea how much he has left at 40+ (would assume enuff to earn a contract), don't know whether Spo would actually use him.

X-factor: Rashard. Lewis "had" a post game at Seattle and "was" able to create on the dribble before he became *nothing-but* a stretch 4. You can't play both (Lewis *and* Bosh) for long runs, but they'd both give Hibbert + West more to handle on Heat possessions and/or in transition/on-runouts. Indy's d treats Haslem the same way they treated Jo-el last season: no respect. While Birdman is a better finisher than Jo-el, he's not a 40 or even 20 min guy at his hypersonic energy level and still needs others to create for him.

Lt. Lois Einhorn

What are you saying? What can the Heat do against Hibbert? Nothing. That's on Riley.

Lewis would be a downgrade from Battier or Haslem on West defensively, it's not saying much but Lewis is a HUGE liability defensively, he couldn't give Miami 5 minutes on West before he'd have to be pulled.

taheati

Posted by: Lt. Lois Einhorn | 05/25/2013 at 07:25 PM
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So the Heat can't do "nothing" against Hibbert? It's on Riley for next season? Then why play on? Don't be silly.

What am I saying? I'm saying a) it's still a series with no reason to quit b) the current rotation of Heat bigs isn't getting it done defensively v. West/Hibbert. c) if u can't get it done with the usual suspects in the usual way, try something un-usual (Spo brainstorm, Bosh+Lewis etc) or throw kitchen sink (Howard). d) Paul George is NOT a world beater unless Indy bigs finish plays; West & Hibbert make him look better than he is no matter how much Bron licks his toes.

Yes, when I SAID "You can't play both (Lewis *and* Bosh) for long runs", I meant Lewis' defense. However, the Heat aren't getting ANYTHING done playing UD/Shane against West/Hibbert for long runs, so why not turn offense into defense (put West/Hibbert on their defensive heels by spotting minutes for Heat bigs (aside from Bosh) who actually have post scoring skills -- which WOULD, in turn, affect their (West/Hibbert) offense. I don't want to Lewis AND Bosh taking jumpers at the same time; that won't do Bron/Wade any good or make West/Hibbert work on defense. I'd want one or both posting up occasionally to MOVE Hibbert off the block(s), finishing and/or drawing fouls. The Heat, so far, are allowing Indy bigs to have their way on BOTH ends of the floor. That's gotta change.

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