|Heat Closeout, Move on East Finals (via ESPN)|
By: Quentin Shank
The first quarter was a roller-coaster, setting this game up to be everything it was expected to be. David West started out hot as needed to be and physical as ever. The refs were making sure this game wouldn’t get out of hand by dumping yet another technical foul on George hill for having words with Dwayne wade. LeBron James started slow, but LBJ and Dwayne Wade connected on multiple plays to get them both in rhythm.
Wade dominated the second quarter with an assortment of amazing moves and shots, finally living up to the Flash nickname. With three big three-point shots by Mike Miller and just James being James, Wade carried the Heat in the first half going 11 out of 16 with 26 points in the first half. Granger was having an above average night but what was really interesting is that he shot 35% when James is on the court and an insane 67% when he was off. Now the big question is who is getting in whose head because after your two T's on Granger, James has had 42 and 30. I like Granger's tenacity but you’re not that good yet. The Pacers are like the Nuggets to me, GREAT team play but no prolific scorers or game changers. That might be arguable for Roy Hibbert right now because that man is doing the damn thing. The big men were attacking amazingly tonight for the short handed Heat. Hibbert and West have combined for 22 first half points. It will be interesting to see how the Heat deal with a big man deficiency.
Dwayne Wade continued rolling and the big men for the Pacers did too going shot for shot early on in the third quarter. Isolation plays for Wade and James have killed the Pacers and it seems they are happy with those one on ones. I don’t know if it is a pride or trust thing but that is just plain stupid to think that that will ever work out for them. Fun fact from the mid third quarter; only four players have scored for the Heat and out of 63 points Wade and James have 45, too good or absolutely necessary? A key fourth foul for Granger happened with 5 minutes left in the third quarter, he tried to jump a pass to James on the right wing and I understand the effort but you're too valuable to the team to be sitting on the bench for the duration of the quarter; play smart youngin’. The Heat ended the third quarter on a nine to zero run and David West was T'ed up for an idiotic slap/mush on Shane Battier’s head (the Pacers had 17 turnovers in the game at this point too).
The fourth started back and forth again, James made an amazing shot then Hibbert answered right back. Wade hit a jumper then Granger went right back at him and the crowd was impeccable. Pacers coach Frank Vogel started trapping Wade at half court and it worked for a few turnovers and brought the Pacers within five.
With eight minutes left in the fourth Granger again committed a stupid foul on Joel Anthony giving him his fifth and Coach Vogel needed their leading scorer to stay on the floor. With 6:30 to go the Heat had their biggest lead of the game with 11. Dwayne Wade continued to excel with banking floaters and swishing jumpers. He had 34 points with 4 minutes left in fourth; Heat up by 10. Every time it looked like the Heat were going to run away with it George Hill would hit a three or Hibbert would tip in a shot to keep them within striking distance. The Pacers showing had more than just a little fight in them left.
James closed the fourth quarter with six straight points to put the nail in the coffin. The Pacers are a great team and I think they have a lot to learn. Problem was the Heat’s dynamic duo were just too much and too good for this budding team to handle. Dwayne Wade had 40 and he isn’t even the best player on the team???