The Indiana Pacers are back in a familiar situation, tied 2-2 in a playoff series with the Miami Heat and playing Game 5 on the road at AmericanAirlines Arena. The Pacers face the same scenario in the second round of the playoffs last season and the results weren't pretty. So bad, in fact, that Larry Bird emphasized how S-O-F-T his team was following the Pacers 115-83 loss.
I have a feeling, the experience in Game 5 last year, including the former Pacers prez's reaction, has been a talking point among the coaches and players as they prepare for the pivotal game tonight. The Pacers have shown enough mental and physical toughness to remain stride-for-stride with the Heat this year, but for Game 5, they will have to be ready to raise that level of toughness while still being able to execute on the court.
The Heat answered the bell after losing Game 2 with an efficient beat down of the Pacers in Game 3. The champs are again forced to respond, this time on their home floor. No doubt, they will be ready to roll. Should be interesting to see if LeBron takes over or if, as happened in Game 3, the 'Bronettes come up big with a balanced effort.
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