Pacers at Heat Picks and Game 2 NBA Odds
by Trevor Whenham - 5/24/2013
The Pacers came very, very close to shocking the world in the opener — far closer than most people outside of Indianapolis expected. Playing in Miami, they took the Heat to overtime and then had the lead right up until LeBron James scored the winning basket at the buzzer. It was a very strong, eye-opening performance.
The question now is how the Pacers respond to the situation. It all comes down to them. We know how good the Heat are, and we know that they will probably be better in Game 2. The Pacers have two ways to go in this game. They can gain confidence from the strength of their performance, develop deeper belief in their capabilities, and build from here. Or they can become frustrated and disheartened by the close call and come out flatter next time — essentially handing the game and the series to the Heat. Determining which one of those possibilities you think is more likely is what handicapping this game comes down to.
Pacers at Heat Betting Storylines
The question that Indiana head coach Frank Vogel is surely sick of, and which could haunt him throughout the rest of this playoff run, is why Roy Hibbert wasn’t in the game as it ended. James scored driving to the basket. Hibbert, the 7-foot-2 shot-blocking savant who has really blossomed into an elite defensive force this year, had not fouled out but was watching from the bench. James was as close to uncontested as you can be in the situation after a glaring Paul George mistake. Hibbert may or may not have been a difference, but chances are solid that James would not have been able to get such an easy shot off and would have had to work harder for the win. It’s a very hard move to understand and one that could rattle the confidence of team and coach. One thing that is very likely, though, is that Hibbert will be in action if the game comes down to the wire this time.
Last round the Bulls beat the Heat by seven in the opener in Miami. Chicago didn’t win again, and Miami won the second game by 37 points. The giant woke up. This Indiana team is a much better team than the Bulls are right now, and the Heat played much better in the first game than they did against Chicago, so the two situations aren’t entirely parallel. Still, it is a good bet that Miami is going to step up their game in the next meeting. They hadn’t played for a full week before the game, and they have a tendency towards complacency — especially the further down the lineup you go — when the games aren’t crucial. With a better performance expected from Miami, the ability to assess how Indiana will respond will be even more significant.
These teams don’t have a natural or geographic rivalry. However, if the first game was any indication, they really don’t like each other much. The game was very chippy; 58 fouls in 53 minutes slowed the pace down to a crawl at times. Hibbert used Twitter after the game to call Shane Battier “dirty”. Battier, the ultimate rabble-rouser, almost came to blows with Tyler Hansbrough more than once. Chris Andersen was handed a technical, though not for the fashion crime that is his hair. Last year these two teams got into accusing each other of flopping and playing to the refs, and this year they have really picked up right where they left off.
Pacers at Heat Game 2 NBA Odds and Betting Trends
Indiana has gone “over” the total in six of their last seven and in 12 of their last 14 following a straight up loss. Indiana has covered four of their last five spreads. Miami carries offensive momentum forward well — they are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games following a 100 point or better performance. Six of the last seven meetings between the squads have gone over the total.
Pacers at Heat Picks and Game 2 Betting Predictions
Miami is going to be better in this one. Indiana is a tough, disciplined team, though, and I trust their resolve after the opener. They ultimately aren’t good enough to win the series, but they aren’t going to make it easy for the Heat. One stat stands out from the opener — no team ever led by more than seven points. Indiana doesn’t score in streaks, and they rarely give them up. While I give the Heat a good chance of winning this one, seven points is a whole lot — more than I am willing to give up. Indiana against the spread is the pick.
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