For the past year the Indiana Pacers fooled the entire NBA.
They claimed they could have made the NBA Finals if they had home court.
Gave that up in two games.
They said a deeper bench would get them where they wanted to go.
That bench they acquired in the off-season has been almost non-existent this series.
They promoted themselves as a strong family based organization.
Yet they threw away a cornerstone of their franchise, that being Danny Granger, for Evan Turner, Lavoy Allen, and front row tickets to June’s NBA Draft.
Okay so that last part wasn’t true, but it might as well be the way Indiana has conducted themselves lately, and because it’s going to be their next objective after tonight.
Why do you feel so confident in this?
Why? Because Indiana isn’t ready for the big stage. Better yet, they don’t want to be on the big stage.
What makes you say that?
Simple. Championship ready teams don’t do the things that the Pacers have done.
Championship ready teams don’t say they outplayed a team when they turn the ball over nearly 3 times as much as they did.
The coach of a championship ready team surely doesn’t yell at a player or try to play close out D on them before they shoot.
But most of all, a championship ready team doesn’t do…for lack of a better term…Lance Stephenson like things.
They don’t talk smack and try to “get in the head” of one of the greatest players of all-time, then say they respect them, and then turn around and do this:
I’m going to be honest, I have respect for most, if not all, of the Indiana Pacers. I mean most of them are immature, but they are young and that will go away one day. However, I do not in any way, shape, or form, respect Lance Stephenson.
The fact that he would even reference the Heat’s own Norris Cole as somebody who pulls the same antics that he does is insulting to THE PRIDE OF CLEVELAND STATE and a flat out lie.
Only one other individual reminds me of the same level of maturity that makes up Lance. That player, in my personal opinion is who Lance is destined to one day be.
He is destined to one day be this:
Sure, maybe he’ll win a championship someday, but not with Indiana. Maybe he’ll release a rap album after that happens. In the end, he will probably bounce from team to team, and much like Arte…I mean World Peace, fall into irrelevancy….but I digress.
Speaking of the player formerly known as Ron Artest, his actions, among other individuals involved that night, right or wrong…
…are what have caused the Pacers, for the last 10 years, to build from the ground up in order to become a championship caliber team once again.
That rebuilding has, for a second straight year, gotten them all the way to the doorstep of a place they have only been once as a NBA Franchise, the NBA Finals.
However, for the second straight year they will attempt to open that door and find it locked, with the Heat already comfortably inside.
Last night they were given a gift in the form of LeBron James being limited due to foul trouble for nearly the entire game.
Yet they took that gift and nearly threw it back like a spoiled kid on Christmas morning.
Once LeBron picked up that fifth foul, a light clicked on in the Pacers mind.
A green light, as Paul George called it after the game, that ALSO nearly went red.
Take a look towards the end of these highlights as Chris Bosh nearly put Indiana to sleep.
Even though that didn’t fall, let’s face it. On a night where The King only scored 7 points, the Pacers only won by three and, other than Paul George’s Reggie Miller-esque performance, still didn’t play that great.
LeBron, DWade, Bosh, Spo and the entire Miami Heat organization. They won’t publicize it, but they are done with Indiana.
Tonight, they lay to rest the 2013-2014 Indiana Pacers.
Paul George is kidding himself if he thinks the only thing they have to be worried about is LeBron.
They didn’t just poke the bear, they stabbed the entire colony.
Be afraid of James, but be terrified of The Big 3.
Psh, I’m not scared, we’re all “Born Ready” for this moment.
You might want to read this then.
Heat are 9-0 at home in potential series-clinching games in the Big 3 era. LeBron averages 28.4 pts, 9.3 rebs & 6.1 asts in those games
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 29, 2014
If it’s not the Heat that gets them, then the enraged Heat nation waiting inside AmericanAirlines Arena will.
To close, I look at a clip from one of my all-time favorite films, The Dark Knight.
Yes it is Mr. Dent, and by dawn tomorrow the Pacers off-season begins, and the Miami Heat will not only be the first team since the Boston Celtics(’84-’87) to make it to 4 straight NBA Finals, but the Heat will also keep the dream of a Trey by the Bay alive.
Let the battle begin.