Here’s what you need to know for Game 6:
And finally our own little shout-out,
The number one (and most obvious) question on everybody’s mind is “Can the Miami Heat win Game 6 in Indiana?”
And the most obvious answer is “Duh, of course they can — remember Game 3?”
But the real answer is that the Miami Heat don’t control the outcome of Game 6. The three people that control the outcome of Game 6 will be George Hill, Lance Stephenson, and D.J. Augustin.
They are Indiana’s backcourt. And together they went 2-for-13 from the field in Game 5. If they do that again — if they even come close to not producing again – Game 6 is over, and the Miami Heat will return to the NBA Finals.
Doesn’t matter if Dwyane Wade has a bad game. Doesn’t matter if Chris Bosh has a bad game.
And here’s why it doesn’t matter:
(Note: It does matter if LeBron has a bad game, but LeBron’s been so spectacular throughout the playoffs that we (at least I) actually expect him to score 25-30 points, grab 6-8 rebounds, and get at least 6-8 assists a game. That’s what we/I expect! That’s f
Roy Hibbert will get his 20 points and 10+ rebounds against a soft Heat front court. David West will get his 10 points and 10 points. Paul George will get his 20 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists. That’s fifty points.
The remainder needs to be filled by the Indiana Pacers backcourt and bench– and after their pathetic Game 5 performance, I don’t think they can muster the points necessary to help the Pacers win Game 6.
Because if LeBron scores 25, Dwyane Wade scores 15, Chris Bosh scores 10, Udonis Haslem scores 10, and Mario Chalmers scores 10, that’s already 70 points. Not to mention the 15-20 points that the Miami Heat bench will be able to contribute. This means that the Heat will score between 85-90 points tonight– and that’s assuming a bad offensive night (anytime Wade and Bosh combine for less than 30 points, it’s a bad offensive night).
And while Roy Hibbert, David West, and Paul George might give the Pacers 50 points, the likes of George Hill, Lance Stephenson, Sam Young, Ian Mahinmi, and Tyler Hansbrough have to score 35-40 points to give keep the Pacers close to Miami.
However, this is unlikely to happen because
- George Hill is 17-for-44 in this series.
- Lance Stephenson is (I can’t even believe I’m writing this) 19-for-54. That’s a field goal percentage of 35%.
- Sam Young has scored all of 11 points this entire series.
- And Ian Mahinmi has also scored 11 points this entire series.
In fact, the only player that’s played closed to mediocre on offensive end (and in this case, that’s almost a compliment. Almost.) is Tyler Hansbrough (who has scored 20 points this series in 48 minutes of playing time). In short, there’s no way that the Pacers’ back court and bench can help the Hibbert-West-George offensive nucleus of the Pacers win Game 6, especially after Game 5’s insipid performance.
The only way the Pacers are able to win this game is if Hibbert, West, and/or George go off and the Heat play their worst game of the series. Which, after the ups-and-downs of this series, is not out of the realm of possibility.