The Miami Heat were challenged entering Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals. They answered that challenge the way champions are supposed to. Now, Indiana must respond.
Eastern Conference Finals, Game 4
Miami Heat @ Indiana Pacers – Tuesday, May 28
Sport betting line: Miami -2
Why Miami Will Win
Online football betting students who want to add a little intrigue to their week might be interested in making a play on the favorite in this game. Miami commands so much respect because it has lost just four times in the past 51 games. The Heat have set a high standard this season and showed in their 114-96 win in Game 3 that they are not to be distrusted in this postseason. Miami went the distance last season and banished the demons that emerged in the 2011 NBA Finals against the Dallas Mavericks. The Heat learned to acquire more poise in high-pressure, high-stress situations. They took better shots. They exhibited better communication on defense. They made relevant adjustments when an opponent punched back.
The NBA is a league in which teams generally need to lose at a high level before they take the next step and win a championship. The Philadelphia 76ers lost to the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers before winning the world title in 1983. The Lakers lost to the Celtics in the 1984 NBA Finals before beating Boston in 1985. The Detroit Pistons lost to the Boston Celtics in the 1987 Eastern Conference Finals before beating the Celtics in 1988. The Chicago Bulls lost to the Pistons in the 1989 and 1990 playoffs before winning the NBA Finals in 1991 and then again in 1992 and 1993. Miami has undergone this same process. The confidence and belief the Heat possess are substantial. Winning Game 3 on the road by 18 points will enable the Heat to play with a liberated mentality in Game 4. It’s going to be hard for Indiana to deal with the Heat’s confidence… and with LeBron James’ post-up attack, which will make it difficult for the Pacers to double-team and rotate with effectiveness.
Why Indiana Will Win
With an online horse betting guru or a college football betting expert, the calculus of a given event should not be overrated due to one event. It has to be pointed out that while Miami leads this series, Indiana carried the play for each of the first two games. Miami changed the conversation in Game 3, but the Pacers have played the way they want to play for a majority of this series. Indiana’s big men, Roy Hibbert and David West, are too good to struggle for a second straight game, and even then, the two men were solid in Game 3. West had 21 points and 10 rebounds, while Hibbert added 20 points and 17 boards. The problem with West and Hibbert is that they collected a lot of their points and rebounds when Miami had already established a big lead, and were not able to do enough at either end of the floor when the Pacers had a chance to narrow a big Miami lead late in the third quarter. West and Hibbert should be able to play better in high-leverage situations in this contest. Moreover, wing player Paul George should be able to step forward and score more crunch-time baskets than he did in Game 3, when he was strangely silent. Indiana got caught off guard by Miami in so many ways in Game 3. Miami was also helped by an unusually strong game from forward Udonis Haslem, who hit 8 of 9 shots, many of them 18-foot jumpers. Don’t expect Haslem to hit nearly that many shots in this game. Don’t expect Miami to attain the same offensive flow it found in Game 3. The pendulum will swing back to the Pacers here.
Who Will Win?
The sense here is that this will be a seven-game series. Given that Miami is leading now, Indiana should be able to fight back and even this series at 2-2 heading into Game 5 on Thursday.
NBA Betting Pick: Indiana +2