The Game 2 Journal
Indy’s game 1 victory against Miami seemed to surprise everyone but me. Nonetheless, it’s undoubtedly set the stage for the best series we’ll see in this postseason (even the Finals matchup). This is why I stuck with Indiana:
– They’re built to beat Miami: they’re big, they’re physical, they have two, real point guards, and they have Lance “Hurricane” Stephenson who shall be henceforth referred to as Hurricane Steve from this day forth.
Side Note: If you don’t read my stuff because it’s preachy, long-winded, and not funny like Filler’s stuff, I call Lance Stephenson “The Hurricane” because he’s unpredictably energetic. Sometimes his energy destroys the opponent, sometimes his energy is recklessness and destroys you.
– Simmons wrote a great piece about this series and stole a lot of the points I wanted to make today, but he pointed out that Hurricane Steve actually believes he’s better than Dwayne Wade. And in this series? He might be right
– David West has been an absolute man’s man in the paint. He’s the most important player for Indiana and he’ll be the most important player in this series not named Lebron James
– They have the home court advantage they worked all year for (well, at least until the All-Star Break).
– Remember that Miami Heat team that lit up the highlight reel? You know, when Bosh would rip down a rebound, toss a cross-court outlet pass in a split second to Dwayne Wade, who would throw a lob pass to Lebron 15 feet high, who would slam it down impossibly in a matter of what seemed like two seconds? That team is dead. This team slowly crosses half-court, sets up their offense, and executes.
– Last but not least, Indiana hates the Heat. I didn’t say, “the Pacers hate the Heat” I said, “Indiana hates the Heat.” That fuels the emotional fire the Pacers seem to need to play with any kind of consistency.
– I’m starting to feel bad for ripping Dwayne Wade the past couple weeks. He’s been the only bright spot for Miami outside of Lebron in this series. He hasn’t missed tonight and he’s the reason they’re in it here in the first
– Roy Hibbert is Miami kryptonite on defense. Seriously, he repels offenders. No one wants any part of him. I’ve counted five “contested” shots on Hibbert, he’s left his feet and put his hands up to block on only one of them, and only one of the attempts has gone in
– Ok, seriously Lebron just came off a pick and roll and took one look at Hibbert in the lane and backed off and passed to Mario Chalmers
– Mario Chalmers is awful.
– I just saw Chris Bosh try to post up on Roy Hibbert. That was funny.
– I just saw Chris Andersen shoot a three (pretty indicative of how the game is going for Miami right now)
– There’s 3 minutes to go in the first quarter and I’m about 90% sure the Pacers haven’t substituted for a single starter. I’ll have to check the box score to make sure, but… that’s really strange.
– Mario Chalmers is SO BAD.
– Getting Lebron off David West on defense has been the single-best adjustment Spoelstra has made from Game 1 to 2. West is on the bench with 2 fouls.
– Hibbert is on the bench. Lebron just drove into the paint the last two possessions.
– Miami MVP’s so far: D-Wade and Norris Cole (yea, Norris Cole, I said it)
– Indy’s MVP so far: Hurricane Steve
– Can we stop saying Miami has a “big three?” Chris Bosh stands behind the three point line and waits for a pass and when he doesn’t get it, he sets a screen and rather than rolling to the hoop, he continues to wait behind the three point line
– Tremendous recognition by Erik Spoelstra to see that Miami was playing great with Wade as the leader to rest Lebron for almost five minutes to start the 2nd quarter
– Miami going to a half-court press-and-trap. Another good adjustment defensively.
– Mario Chalmers checked back in, four seconds off the clock – foul.
– Paul George is such a confusing talent, he needs his own entire blog post. Maybe next week
– Whoever cast Jennifer Lawrence for this X-Men movie is a genius. She’s a perfect Mystique. Having said that, I’ll wait to Netflix this one.
– I don’t get the DirecTV wires commercials.
– Chris Paul does too many State Farm commercials. He played like his Cliff Paul alter-ego against the Thunder last week.
– Lebron James is a basketball genius. Post up on George Hill, any other player would sense the mismatch and take it inside. Instead, he waits about three seconds for the second defender and kicks out to an open three. Oh, and he plays defense a lot which in today’s NBA is a certain kind of genius.
– Oh my gosh Chris Bosh just drove the ball the basket for a layup. 4 points.
– Indiana can’t buy a jumpshot but #HurricaneSteve is crushing it and because of that they just retook the lead
– Masahiro Tanaka is about to get his first loss in two years tonight. That. Is. Insane.
– Hurricane Steve just dunked on Bosh/D-Wade. I guess that’s why they call him “The Hurricane.” Wait… I’m the only one who calls him that.
– I have really missed hearing Mark Jackson say things like, “Momma, there goes that man!” You’re gonna get another coaching gig Mark, but in the meantime stick to your promise and take a year off and give us some more of your commentary.
– 3 minutes left in the third and Lebron just got that, “OK, this is getting ridiculous, give me the ball” look to him. Heat down 6.
– Meanwhile Paul George (who looks disinterested in this game) has allowed that Lebron to take the lead back to Miami in this game
– Tie game at 67 with 9:26 left. My gut tells me that Indiana is pretty happy with any game they can keep Miami under 70 points with 9 minutes left in the game, but when in doubt Lebron > everything and I’ll take Miami if it’s close with under 2 minutes to go
– Wade is down and holding his left knee in a lot of pain after a collision with Paul George. Miami down 4, 7 minutes left, Lebron has been taking a breather. I smell a 30 for 30/NBA Classics moments where this is exactly what it takes to awaken Lebron from whatever slumber he’s been in.
– Lebron checks in, drains a 3, 6 minutes left, 1 point game.
– Next Heat possession: Lebron scores again
– Next Heat possession: Lebron draws a foul on David West (his 5th). Drains both free throws (I wrote that line before he actually did it… I swear sometimes the NBA is scripted)
– Next Heat possession: Lebron scores again
– Next Indy possession: Lebron steals the ball, Wade scores again on the fast break. 8-0 run, Heat by 5. I hate being right about things I wanted to be wrong about.
– 1:51 left, and I’m tempted to turn it off. Miami is older, smarter, and Lebron has completely sucked the life out of the crowd.
Lebron to Wade to seal the deal. I hate Miami.