1.) The Pacers need to assert themselves early and put pressure on the Heat. The Heat blew out the Knicks in the first few games and really set the tone for that series. It is absolutely essential for the Pacers to win one of the first two games, preferably the first. We all know what happens to LeBron James when he begins to feel pressure.
2.) The Pacers need to stop deferring to Danny Granger for twenty shots a game and actually embrace the team concept we talk about all the time. I'm no Granger hater, but we play better when he is one of five facilitators, not the default "go-to" guy. He gets better shots and shoots at a higher percentage when we play as a team.
3.) Paul George needs to have his coming out party, now. If we can get at least two games out of Paul George at his best, we have the advantage.
4.) Tyler Hansbrough needs to become "Psycho T". Obviously the Pacers played well in the Magic series, but it didn't strike me as very physical. We need to be more physical and assert ourselves against the Heat. That means Hansbrough has got to step up and get under their skin. If he isn't scoring, he needs to be fouling guys, hard. The Heat are going to get all the calls anyway-- we need to make them count. I'm not saying I want anybody to get hurt, but it wouldn't be the end of the world if we picked up some technicals in this series.
5.) David West. Period. Dude was dialed in against the Heat. If he stays this hot, the Heat will have some trouble.
Despite the media's insistence on ignoring the Pacers, I see us as the only true threat the Heat have en route to the finals. Since April, we're 16-4. It's going to be hard for any team to get four against us in a best of seven. What keys do you see? Do we continue to play small ball with Darren Collison and George Hill? Can Roy Hibbert neutralize Chris Bosh?