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Do The Indiana Pacers Still Have A Real Chance To Beat The Miami Heat In The Eastern Conference Finals?

Submitted by on May 29, 2014 – 10:45 amNo Comment

Following Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals, just about everyone out there penciled the Miami Heat into the 2014 NBA Finals. After winning Game 1 of the best-of-7 ECF series in Indiana, the Pacers had lost three straight games to the Heat and the thought was that there was no possible way the Pacers were going to be able to win three straight against Miami in order to go to the Finals. The Pacers have simply been too inconsistent during the 2014 NBA Playoffs to do it. And plus, this is LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, and the Heat we’re talking about here. Those guys are not going to blow a 3-1 series lead and miss out on making a fourth consecutive trip to the NBA Finals. Er, right?

Right. We still don’t think the Pacers have much of a chance of making it to the Finals. But last night, Indiana lived to fight another day when they were able to knock off the Heat 93-90 in Game 5 of the ECF. And in doing so, they sent the series back to Miami where they’ll get the opportunity to even the series up 3-3 in Game 6 on Friday night. It’s a tall task—a very tall task—but at the very least, they’ll get the opportunity to do it thanks to a magical game by Paul George in Game 5. He scored 37 points in the contest, including 21 during the fourth quarter, and propelled the Pacers to a victory. And it didn’t hurt that James was saddled with five fouls during the game and was only able to score seven points as a result of it.

That last part might be what ultimately leads to the demise of Indiana, though. In Game 5, James was awful and it was mostly because he couldn’t keep himself out of foul trouble. So during Game 6, we expect a much different performance from LeBron. He’s not going to score just seven points. He’s not going to pick up five fouls. And because of those two things, the Heat are not going to lose. Think about it: They only lost by three points in Game 5 with LeBron scoring just seven points and spending most of the game on the bench. So if he plays even just marginally better in Game 6, the Eastern Conference Finals are probably going to end on Friday night.

Do we want the series to end? No. We would love to see these two teams play a Game 7 back in Indiana. We just can’t see it happening.

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