Plain and simple, whichever offense executes the best will win this game and this series.
The Indiana Pacers have a great defense — 2nd in opponent’s points per game, a legitimate elite shot blocker in Roy Hibbert — but a Cleveland Cavaliers/Washington Wizards caliber offense.
The Miami Heat have a much better offense, which led the league in points per 100 possessions during the regular season, but haven’t had the same defensive success in the playoffs. That being said, the starting five for the Miami Heat are the best starting five of any team in the playoffs, though the Indiana Pacers have a starting lineup that deserves serious respect.
There has been chatter from both sides leading up to this game, and it will be interesting to see what impact (if any) the verbal jabs have had on the play. We all know it is going to be a physical game (especially considering the history these two teams had last year) but will it all come out in Game 1? That’ll be entertaining and interesting to see — how fired up will players be?
But getting back to the importance of offense in this series — the Indiana Pacers have trouble scoring, and facing a pretty good defense in the Miami Heat (this Heat defense is not like the Knicks “defense”) they will probably have even more trouble scoring. The Heat on the other hand, have struggled against the Indiana Pacers offensively, cracking 100 points only once during their three meetings in the regular season, and in the first meeting of the season the Heat only scored 77 points. 77 points!!!
While it might take defense to win championships, whoever wins tonight’s game needs to have a better offense considering that these two teams play elite defense — which means that the Miami Heat have the slight advantage in Game 1 (and the series).