Miami Heat Miss The Boat In Loss To Indiana Pacers, But Don’t Read Too Much Into It

Dec 10, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Miami Heat guard LeBron James (6) and coach Erik Spoelstra (right) walk off the floor after losing to the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Indiana defeats Miami 90-84. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports


Less than a minute into the game and just seconds after Chris Bosh hit a wide-open 18-footer, Dwyane Wade found Shane Battier for an open look on the elbow on the next possession.

“Swish.”

Three points and the Heat were up 5-0 against the Indiana Pacers.

Check out the full recap here.

That would be the last 3-pointer Battier, who missed his next five, would make for the rest of the game. And that, in a nut shell, is how the Heat’s night went in a 84-90 loss in Indiana.

Miami shot just 42.9 percent on the night, and a dismal, terrible, horrible, atrocious 4-of-21 (19 percent) from three. That is not a winning formula for the Heat, who beat the Pacers by spacing the floor and making shots. When guys like Battier (2-7), Mario Chalmers (3-7) and Ray Allen (1-5) are missing everything but the floor, the other guys like LeBron James and Dwyane Wade can’t get going. Especially when big Roy Hibbert can camp out in the paint.

It wasn’t all bad for Miami. After the first quarter, they led Indiana 30-19. Things were going swimmingly. Even after the Pacers won the second quarter 21-17, Miami still took a seven-point lead going into the intermission despite the shot struggles beginning.

In the second half, Miami couldn’t get above water, drowning in a sea of missed shots and poor ocean-related metaphors. Eventually, the Heat lost to the only other team in the Eastern Conference with a semblance of NBA finals realism.

So what does it all mean? Nothing, really, as I explained here.

But for Miami, missing shots is not an option against Indiana. The narrative tells a story of Hibbert being the Heat’s Kryptonite. Greg Oden and Chris Andersen, though they may slow him for short stints, are not the answer. Instead, spacing the floor and forcing Hibbert–and the other Pacers defenders–away from the basket is.

So, Miami, don’t miss shots. Okay? Good. On the bright side, missing 81 percent of your 3-pointers is pretty difficult. Give credit to the Pacers defense. They had a plan and they executed, with Paul George and Lance Stephenson doing excellent jobs pressuring and chasing guys on the perimeter. But 19 percent? I would bet that doesn’t happen again for a team that features so many good 3-point shooters. All things considered, losing by just two 3-pointers is pretty encouraging.

This was just a trial run. A little taste of what is more to come. Both teams will alter their recipe just a little bit and come back for more. And so will we.

Topics: Dwyane Wade, Eastern Conference, Lebron James, Miami Heat, Paul George, Roy Hibbert, Shane Battier

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