MIAMI, FL - MAY 13: Guard Darren Collison #2 of the Indiana Pacers pauses on the court with teammate Paul George #24 against the Miami Heat in Game One of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on May 13, 2012 at the American Airines Arena in Miami, Florida. The Heat defeated the Pacers 95-86. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
The Indiana Pacers let a good opportunity to win Game 1 against the Miami Heat slip away much like they did in Game 1 against Orlando when they were outscored 9-0 down the stretch and couldn't make a play to hold on for the win.
This was different, though. The Heat outscored the Pacers 9-1 in the final four and a half minutes but Miami's pressure forced Indiana into a situation where they would need to execute at a high level just to get decent looks and instead they let that pressure break them down, forcing bad passes and worse possessions. Unlike against the Magic, when the Pacers couldn't get a shot to fall, against Miami in Game 1 they couldn't get a good look that wasn't under duress.
That pressure makes it hard to move the ball and stay in motion and the Pacers basically stopped trying to make their offense work. Combine that with five missed free throws in the fourth quarter and little to nothing from Danny Granger and Paul George and it is hard to believe this was a two possession game with two minutes to play.
Larry Bird mentioned in an interview last week about how the level of play rises with each game in the playoffs and the Pacers fully experienced that intensity in the second half. Miami was able to make the Pacers uncomfortable, so now we'll see if Indiana has the toughness and discipline to adjust and continue to compete with the Heat. Both teams are capable of playing better than they showed in Game 1, but actually doing it on the court remains a challenge for the Pacers.
Check out the links after the jump.
- Box score: Heat 95, Pacers 86
- Rewind: Game 1 Pacers vs. Heat 120513 | THE OFFICIAL SITE OF THE INDIANA PACERS
- You can all stop whining: It wasn't the officiating | Indianapolis Star | indystar.com
- Pacers-Heat Game 1: Danny Granger, Paul George must bring game, not excuses | Indianapolis Star | indystar.com
- Pacers: Too much James/Wade. Not enough Granger | Pacers Insider | The Indianapolis Star | IndyStar.com
- Dwyane Wade, LeBron James lead Miami Heat to victory over Indiana Pacers in Game 1 - Miami Heat - MiamiHerald.com
- NBA: Pacers Playoffs Notebook: Granger gets MVP'd by James as Heat take game one - fox59.com
- Pacers fall to Heat in second round opener - fox59.com
- MVP James, Heat top Pacers 95-86, await Bosh word - AP
- LeBron James' brilliant destruction of Pacers can't mask his maddening habits - Yahoo! Sports
- Behind the Box Score, where the Clippers survived the first round | Ball Don't Lie - Yahoo! Sports
- Untimely cold stretch is costly for Indiana Pacers’ Danny Granger - Miami Heat - MiamiHerald.com
- Miami Heat’s Ronny Turiaf, Joel Anthony fill void for injured Chris Bosh - Miami Heat - MiamiHerald.com
- Chris Bosh's Injury Is Bad News For The Heat - SBNation.com
- Missed opportunities in Game 1 could haunt Pacers | NBA.com
- Heat pull through Pacers despite Bosh injury - Peninsula is Mightier
- Post-Game Grades: LeBron James and Dwyane Wade Too Much for Pacers | Eight Points, Nine Seconds
- Bosh, By Gosh, Is Hurt " NBA.com | Hang Time Blog