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Sunday night postscripts, reaction to Heat's Game 1 loss; Sunday buzz column (Heat, Fins, UM)

Postscripts and reaction after the Heat’s 107-96 loss to Indiana in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals at Bankers Life Fieldhouse:

### The odds, naturally, are against Indiana again opening 6 for 7 on threes, even though some of those shots will remain open if the Heat sags off shooters to offer help on the Pacers’ bigs.

The biggest problem: Roy Hibbert's size and David West's physicality continue to pose problems for Miami, as was the case again in Game 1.

(Wasn’t Greg Oden – who wasn’t even active – supposed to be a panacea to that problem? Erik Spoelstra said Oden has no health issues, but after sitting out for most of the past seven weeks --- including with a back issue in late March and early April ---  that Oden needs a couple more strenuous workouts before being evaluated later this week, let alone playing.)

There are other worrisome issues, too, for Miami: Chris Bosh’s continued disappointing play against Indiana; the Heat’s dismal three-point shooting against Indy (a problem all year); poor pick-and-roll defense Sunday; erratic point guard play; Lance Stephenson's evolution.

### After two years, the Heat still has no answers for West, who closed with 19 points (8 for 11) and seven rebounds and carved out good position in the post against multiple Heat defenders, including Bosh and LeBron James.

We mentioned in Saturday night’s post how West has dominated Bosh head-to-head over the past two seasons, and that continued, with Bosh mustering just two rebounds and eight points, on 4 for 12 shooting and 0 for 5 on threes.

Bosh is now shooting 28 for 84 in his past 19 games against Indiana, including 3 for 19 on threes this season.

More unsettling: West has outrebounded Bosh, 121-62, over their past 15 meetings.

“Chris has a great way of figuring things out as a series goes on,” Spoelstra said, trying to put an optimistic spin on this.

Said Paul George: "Had Bosh played a bigger role for them, this game would have been a lot tougher."

Hibbert, meanwhile, had 19 points and nine rebounds, and the Pacers were plus 19 with him on the floor (and minus eight with Hibbert on the bench). According to ESPN, Heat players defended by Hibbert shot for 13.

Still, Bosh seemed dismissive of Hibbert's game, saying: "He was 5 of 13. I'm not going to pay attention to that."

### The free-throw discrepancy was astounding: Indiana 29 for 37, the Heat 10 for 15. Hibbert had just one fewer made free throw than the Heat. This was the Heat's third-most lopsided free throw attempt deficit in the Big Three era. 

### ABC cameras, permitted in the Heat’s locker-room after the game before the media was allowed, videotaped Spoelstra telling this to his team: “What it’s going to take is great trust. You have to trust you’re going to come up with an answer in the next 24 hours. We will collectively. Let’s make sure we keep this in perspective.”

### What Spoelstra told the media: “That was us at our worst defensively. You have to give them credit. We never got into a rhythm where we could defend without fouling.”

### Spoelstra, on Shane Battier starting ahead of Udonis Haslem: “I don’t know that had an effect or not. Shane’s overall [plus/minus] was a positive [plus two in 16 minutes].” Indiana scored 30 in the first quarter, its most since Feb. 27.

Haslem started the second half --- he had a few good moments in the game defending Hibbert --- but the overall results were no better.

### Dwyane Wade was efficient, with 27 points on 12 for 18 shooting. The problem is that Lance Stephenson is so much better than the raw, unpolished knucklehead who was giving the choke sign to LeBron two years ago. 

Beyond the 17 points, Stephenson had eight assists and four rebounds. He’s Indiana best passer and has become a more reliable shooter (8 for 12 Sunday).

"He's been able to control [his emotions]," Paul George said. "He's just an emotional person. He gets out of hand sometimes, but we can live with most of it. He did a great job tonight staying poised and keeping himself in the game."

(Wade declined to comment about Stephenson saying yesterday that he hoped to get Wade running to make his "knee flare up.")

### LeBron, who had 25 points (11 for 18) and 10 rebounds: “We made a lot of mistakes and they took advantage of it. They got some threes early on. Our pick-and-roll coverage had a lot of breakdowns, including myself. They exploited us. Going into Game 2, we’ll be more mentally prepared for their actions. We’ll make adjustments and be a better team in Game 2.”

### Does Miami regret not getting the No. 1 seed? “No,” Wade said afterward. “Everything happens for a reason. This series has so much more basketball left. These are two teams that can win in both arenas…. The things we didn’t do great today we’ll be do better in Game 2. We’re a confident team.”

### The Heat’s three-point shooting against Indiana, awful during the regular season (27 percent), remained awful today (6 for 23). “We had some really good looks and they didn’t fall,” James said.

And on that topic… even though LeBron and James Jones has been the Heat’s best pairing from a plus-minus standpoint in postseason, Jones played just four minutes Sunday, missing his only shot.

### The Heat had 21 fast break points to Indiana’s six but was outrebounded 38-29.... Miami didn't lead in a game for only the third time all season. The others: March 4 against Houston, Mach 6 against San Antonio.

### Remember the Heat was also manhandled (103-82) in Game 1 of the 2011 Eastern Conference Finals in Chicago, then won four straight. In fact, during The Big Three era, the Heat has gone on to win all four series in which it lost the first game, including last year's NBA Finals.

### For the Heat, point guard play needs to be a draw or close to it, and Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole came up short, thoroughly outplayed by George Hill and CJ Watson. The Heat’s point guards had six assists and no turnovers but combined to shoot 2 for 12, with Chalmers 2 for 9.

### Reaction from the Pacers side: Paul George (24 points, 7 assists): "We did a great job of moving the ball. That's why we got off to a hot start. Having Battier on me, I think I'm a little quicker. It doesn't pose that much of a threat for me."

### ABC's Bill Simmons continues to win no friends among Heat fans. He mentioned before the game that the Western Conference Finals is the real NBA Finals and that the Spurs and Thunder (without Serge Ibaka) are both superior to the Heat and Pacers.

### Jeff Van Gundy put it simply: “Miami is not as good as last year.” And defensively, “They’re a little slower. Size is a factor” also.

PLEASE SEE THE LAST POST FOR THE SUNDAY BUZZ COLUMN WITH HEAT, DOLPHINS, CANES AND MARLINS

Comments

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blakesta

Bosh better step it up....man he can look awful at times

Georgia Cane

Can we hire the Hawks Coach? He forced Pacers to 7 games with no All stars. Bosh sayed in at the Hotel and they're paying him 15 Mil a year. Spolestra is still analyzing his performance.

THE REAL DON SOLDY

PACERS IN 5.

CHRISTINA IS NO MATCH.

Mike

Georgia Cane you're a dolt.

TRP

The Heat be done. They will not make it out of this bracket. Hope I'm wrong, but not optimistic.

Earl Washington

This Heat team is not as strong as the three previous. Only Lebron is better. In order to win this series, he will need to score plus 30 as supporting cast is much weaker this year.

sagittarius

I like Spo but he doesn't know how to make adjustment. He should have known by now, basketball like football is all about match up. He had two players playing out of their positon, Bosh playing center and Battier playing power forward against their front court player who are big and athletic. Bad player management. He went small against a big and athletic frontcourt, that's the last thing you want to do against this Indiana players, clueless, not very smart coach. Even though he won two championships , any coach can win if you have all star players like the big 3

liont

Here we go,panic.This team will figure it out,calm down.Ud shudd start.

Dom

ITS 1 GAME U IDIOT HOMERS........ Sagitarius? No team can win every game. Spo just won 2 rings and 3 sraight nba finals and now 4 straight east finals? are you kidding me? Heat lost game 1 four times and each time has won the series.

2. OKC went 7 vs Memphis. OKC lost game 1 at home to the Clippers. SPURS WERE DOWN 2-1 To DALLAS and went 7 didnt it? PEOPLE. GIVE IT A REST

Georgia cAne--This aint the NCAA Tourney. Indy lost game 1 to ATL and to Wash, yet they won both series. YOU KNEW THEY WOULD B AMPED UP TO PLAY THE heat at home.

If any of U have watched the heat the last 4 years, ITS 1 EFFIN GAME. My gosh......

Dom

2 things.
Refs gave 37 FT's to Indy and only 15 to the heat. A bit strange to have that much difference.

2. 1 of their worst shooters George Hill hit three 3's in the 1st few min of the game, giving them confidence. At 1 point, we were 4-20 shooting 3's and finished 6-23. U add 2-3 more 3's or a few more FT"s, and its a tight game.

HEAT ALWAYS MAKE adjustments. NONE OF U KNOW BASKETBALL IF YOUR COMPLAINING AFTER 1 GAME---there are way too many ups and downs in basketball in a series to blame someone for 1 loss

U not recall we lost game 1 to OKC in finals? Game 1 to chi like Barry mentioned in 2011, Lost game 1 to Spurs in last years finals AT HOME, and lost game 1 at home to the Bulls in Round 2 last year. WE WON EM ALL

Oh n we were down 2-1 in 2012 to Indy with game 4 in Indy, and won that series. We were down 3-2 to Boston in 2012 with Game 6 in Boston . WOn that series. And we were down 3-2 to Spurs in the fInals last year, WON THAT ...............
MOVE ON, NOTHING TO SEE HERE

Dom

Sagittarius Umm Battier has started 2 years at PF now and Bosh 2 years at Center now and we won 2 titles with that line up. Yes we are probably going back to Haslem, but DO you even watch heat games? That was our lineup vs OKC, and that was our line up vs SA in the last 2 finals(WHICH WE WON).

Bosh is a Center now, so I dont know what Planet U have been living on

MIDKNIGHT RIDER

Van Gundy said the Heat were slower defensively. If that's the case then Indy must be slower also since it is the same team from last yr?

Bill Simmons is so stupid and clueless about sports, I don't watch the ABC/ESPN Pre-Game/Halftime/Post-Game show. Not going to get any creditable info or commentary from that crew!

Hey Van Gundy IS SA, OKC, and Indy all quicker this yr than last? Just asking for some real info from guys who are suppose to be calling the game!

octavio de armas

To Sagittarius: How many NBA games have you coached ? Please give us your Basketball career resume so we can marble at your winning record. Last year same thing and who came out on top THE HEAT did.

liont

Yea I don't watch the pre or halftime,that Bill,y is he there anyway.He truly can't analyze honestly,he's jelouse of the heatles

jmike

sagittarius, yeah right, coaches lose all the games. Listen you dolt, coaches don't win games and they don't lose games, players do. The NBA is a player's league, the players control the team that wins or loses the team that loses, coaches just channell the action.

jmike

sagittarius, oh and this isn't rec ball.

u are u ...  dom is a cane n heat Dommasse...

so what is it today Dommasse ? if's but's wouldas or MAYBE couldas shouldas, but then again we'll be back next year HorseSheet ?


jmike

MIDKNIGHT RIDER, I love the Heat, but the difference between the Heat and the other teams you mention is that the Heat roster is older than any of those other team. With an older roster, quickness gets exposed. Do you think Wade is as quick as he was 2 or 3 years ago, how about Ray Allen. One of the things that fans don't do is recognize how players change as they age. Then again, Wade has more experience, and can make up for his reduced quickness by playing smarter as can Allen and the rest of the team.

Kenton Keith

Hey Barry...

Let's not forget that Bill Simmons is an unapologetic Celtics fan and Heat hater for many, many years. He begrudgingly compliments the Heat after they've won a game/series.

The Boss

Heat simply need to play more focused and play defense as they can.I saw early on they were not doing it.After a few quick,lucky 3 s from a not so good offensive NBA team-even the Pacers began smiling.They were thanking their lucky stars they had an offensive outpouring.Doubt we ll see many 55 point first halfs again from them.That s just common sense as they are and always have been a low scoring NBA team.Heat needs to play like Heat can and limit Pacers to 45 point halfs generally speaking.Then-they win those games.Entire team needs to come together with great intensity and focus tonight.The game will turn productively and positively in their favor.They will play with great confidence tonight I have no doubt.

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