NBA Betting: Fans to give Pacers lift
If they are to force a Game Seven it is their defence that will need to improve as the Heat have broken the 100-point barrier in the last two matches and the Pacers can’t go at this pace.
The Indiana Pacers return home, with Matt Reid seeing their NBA play-off hopes hanging by a thread after a disastrous six quarters of basketball against the Miami Heat.
Since half-time in Game Four of this series, Lebron James and Dwayne Wade have shifted a gear and the Pacers have not been able to go with them. The numbers that Wade and James put up in Game Four were ridiculous and will likely never be reproduced in NBA history.
This performance seemed to break the Pacers spirit in Game Five and the Heat ran away to a 32-point victory in front of a raucous Miami crowd. With the series shifting back to Indiana, expect the Pacers fans to provide a lift to their players that they desperately need.
The Heat have put a line through Chris Bosh for Game Six which means they will be severely short-handed in the big man department as Udonis Haslem has been suspended by the league for a cheap shot in Game Five. Haslem was a player the Heat could ill-afford to lose as his mid-range jumper at least requires the Pacers to somewhat respect his offensive game.
The rest of the Heat's front line will not create the same problem for the Pacers. Joel Anthony & Ronny Turiaf struggle to make a shot outside the paint which likely means that the Heat will go small with more playing time for Mike Miller, Shane Battier and James Jones. While this does space the floor for Wade and James, it's a big ask to expect these players to consistently knock down shots on the road in a big playoff game.
Pacers forwards David West and Danny Granger picked up ankle injuries in Game Five and if they do play they may be less than 100%. The Pacers are deeper than the Heat though and have players off the bench that can come in and fill some of the production. If they are to force a Game Seven it is their defence that will need to improve as the Heat have broken the 100-point barrier in the last two matches and the Pacers can't go at this pace.
As good as Wade and James are, it's unrealistic to expect them to produce a performance the calibre of their last outing in Indiana, and role players tend to go missing on the road.
With both sides possibly missing key players, I expect this game to be low scoring and a defensive struggle.
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