For the Indiana Pacers, Game 4 is going to be the most important game of their season.
If they lose, they’ll have to win three games in a row against the defending champions, who also — if you haven’t noticed — have the best freakin’ player on the planet, who is also virtually unstoppable.
For the Pacers to win Game 4, they will need to stop LeBron James, a task they didn’t do in Game 2 (as LeBron mauled Paul George in the post), and a task they haven’t done all series — LeBron has been averaging 29 points, seven rebounds, and five assists per game.
Watching yesterday’s game, it was honestly hard to see how the Indiana Pacers could beat the Miami Heat if the Heat actually showed up to play.
Yes, the Indiana Pacers won Game 2, and they almost won Game 1. But the Heat bench played terribly in both of those games (I’m especially looking at you, Shane Battier), Udonis Haslem couldn’t hit the broadside of a barn, and nobody was shooting well from three point range.
In Game 3, the Heat were able to get at least some production from their bench, Udonis Haslem showed up to play (with his hard hat, lunch pail, and pick ax), and the Heat were able to win by 18. What should be the really scary news for Pacers fans is that Miami comfortably won by 18, despite Ray Allen, Shane Battier, and Norris Cole going a combined 4-for-15. So basically, all the Miami Heat need to win is for their bench to literally just show up (I’d call going 4-for-15 “just showing up”), make a couple baskets, and let the starters (i.e LeBron) do most of the heavy lifting.
I don’t think that’s asking too much of the Heat in Game 4, which means that it’s not looking too hot for Pacers in the most important game of their season.