Tough way to end the season. Sloppy play through some stretches in the two most important games for the Pacers. But, all-in-all a great season.
Miami series synopsis:
The refs were bad, but fairly even on their bad calls so I'm not even going there.
The Pacers looked young at times and had a tough time figuring out who to go to when they needed a bucket. That's the cost of having no star.
The Pacers defense, aside from over pursuing the ball in the paint a few times and giving up easy offensive rebounds/put backs was pretty darn spectacular. Not sure why we couldn't do a little more trapping/double teaming b/c that usually worked pretty well. I guess it's because....
If I were to estimate how many points Wade and Lebron scored while being very well defended (not included the free throw after being fouled hard and getting the sloppy, prayer And-1 to go) I'd guess it was around 40+ points per game combined. They'd got a few easy transition buckets here or there and created a couple easy looks for each other on some sick passes to one another...but for the most part, they were forced into VERY tough shots and they just fell....almost all of them. I think they combined for close to 60% from the floor and I'd say 70% of those made field goals were fadeaways, 18+ foot step backs, defended 3s, crazy flips off the glass and circus shots after hard contact. Those guys are freaks and might have played their best basketball of their lives (especially Wade)....except, not really...they're just freakin' good.
And yet....if the Pacers continue to grow they can execute better and hold on to these early leads that they almost always had....they can keep getting deeper and deeper in the playoffs.
Anyway....going beyond this series. I love this team. Frustrating at times when they pick up their dribble too early, lob lazy passes, don't work to get open, and miscommunicate on so many passes....or when they just go through cold stretches shooting....yeah...frustrating.
I just want to take my hate off though to the whole organization. Players-to-coaches-to-Bird. Great season. Great start to a little mini-dynasty (by "mini" I don't mean short...just not really a dynasty, b/c I don't see an actual title). But I'm getting feelings that this team is going to real good for years to come and I love it.
I don't care what happens in the ECF. We would've stomped Boston or Philly in 5 or 6 games, I'm 100% sure of it unless Rondo played like Wade did tonight in all 7 games of the series. I know that Philly and Boston are deeper, more balanced teams than the Heat...but we are better than anyone on the other side of the bracket right now. Sadly, Miami coasts so that won't be evident as their series will probably go 6 or 7 as well. I don't hate Lebron or Wade, but I do despise Spolestra and the Heat b/c they are coasters and they suck b/c they don't play hard all the time. I hate them as a team and hope they never win a title.
Gold Swagger lives!!!
The only thing keeping us from getting out of the east next year is health (and a lack of growth). One thing we have to be very thankful for this year is health.
So here's to good health, a good summer, and an even better Fall, Winter, and Spring!!!!
Love ya guys!!! Much love to the Pacers players, coaches and faithful fans (what few there seem to be)!!!
p.s.- I'm taking two classes this summer, but will still be on to chat tons of offseason stuff on the weekends...especially as the draft approaches.