Before last night's matchup between the Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat, I'm pretty sure most players, coaches and fans would've been fine with the idea that LeBron James and Dwyane Wade would end the game with 36 points combined.
The only problem is, Miami didn't need their stars to carry the offensive load in their 105-91 win over the Pacers. Not when Mario Chalmers and Chris Bosh combine for 50 points on a ridiculous 24 shot attempts. Plus, the bulk of Bosh's 24 points came on the perimeter which also force Roy Hibbert away from the rim.
Surely the goal of Miami's strategy to pull Hibbert away from the rim was to allow space for LeBron and Wade to finish, but again, that wasn't necessary.
Miami's defense was equally impressive as they took the fight to the Pacers from the tip and through their aggressive, physical presence, pushed the Pacers O back on its heels. The switch of Wade on Paul George and LeBron on Lance Stephenson gave the 22-year old Pacers playmakers a painful lesson and exposed their inexperience in adjusting on the fly when the stakes are high.
Now the Pacers have two days to marinade in that salty loss on South Beach before they host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday. There's no time to allow the letdown to linger since the Pacers remain in a tight race in the Eastern Conference standings after dropping a half game behind the New York Knicks last night.
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