Originally posted on Fox Sports Florida  |  Last updated 5/10/12
MIAMI -- A day after Miami guard Dwyane Wade predicted the Heat's playoff series against Indiana won't produce a lot of headlines, the Pacers have sought to prove him wrong. The East semifinal doesn't start until Sunday at AmericanAirlines Arena But already Indiana coach Frank Vogel has fired the first shot, accusing the Heat of flopping. "It'll be interesting to see how the referees officiate the series and how much flopping they reward," Vogel told reporters Thursday in Indianapolis. "Every drive to the basket, (the Heat) have guys not making a play on the ball, but sliding in front of drivers. Often times they're falling down even before contact is even being made." The Heat didn't practice Thursday and weren't available for comment. But perhaps this series won't be as under the radar as Wade predicted Wednesday. After the Heat polished off New York 106-94 to clinch their first-round series 4-1, Wade was asked about how different facing the Pacers might be. "From the media hype, obviously the Knicks and Miami is a ticket seller," Wade said. "It gets you in front of your TV. And Miami-Indiana from the outside, when it comes to hype, won't be the same. But I think us as team know (Indiana is) a better team (than New York). They proved it all year so it will be a tougher series for us. But it won't be grabbing the headlines like the Knicks and Miami series." Well, the Pacers are off to a good start in trying to create some chatter. Indiana center Roy Hibbert took a bit of a jab at the Heat, who brought in free agents LeBron James and Chris Bosh in the summer of 2010 to join Wade and form the Big Three. "We didn't do it the easy way," Hibbert said of Indiana building slowly while greatly utilizing the draft. "It took time. We didn't do this by signing a couple of superstars." During the regular season, the Pacers (42-24), seeded No. 3 in the East, had a record just four games worse than the No. 2 Heat (46-20). But you wouldn't have known that with all the talk it was Miami and No. 1 Chicago just biding time until they met in the East final. The Bulls lost reigning MVP Derrick Rose for the season in Game 1 against Philadelphia due to a torn ACL, and they trailed the 76ers 3-2 entering Thursday's Game 6. Now, the Pacers believe they can stand in the way of the other team whose conference finals invitation has been considered a formality. "You look at our record since the All-Star break, we actually have a better record than Miami does after the All Star break," said Indiana forward Danny Granger, whose team, including the playoffs, is 25-13 since then while the Heat are 23-14. "I don't think we're underdogs by any means. Miami has more recognition with their Big Three guys, but I think we're a good team as well. It'll be a good match-up." Vogel agrees. "We are not viewing this is any way, shape or form like a David versus Goliath type of meeting," said Vogel, whose team eliminated Orlando 4-1 Tuesday. "We are not the underdog here. This is two heavyweights going toe-to-toe. That's how we view this series. We feel like we're one of the best teams." It didn't look that way the first two times Miami and Indiana met this season. The Heat crushed the Pacers 118-83 Jan. 4 at home and won 105-90 Feb. 14 at Indiana, winning a third road game in three nights, just the second time in NBA history that has occurred. But things then began to chance. The Heat needed overtime to win 93-91 March 10 and home and the Pacers easily won 105-90 March 26, reversing the score from the previous game in Indianapolis. "I don't think they've given us too many problems, personally," said James, perhaps not putting a lot of stock in the last meeting. "We played some great ball against them. I think we gave them more problems than they gave us." But before you think James not sounding too concerned about Indiana has the makings a headline, let it be known he went on to praise the Pacers, lauding their depth and saying Granger, Hibbert and forward West are all "all-star" players. True, those three guys have made a combined four NBA All-Star Game appearances in their careers. But Indiana hardly has the star power Miami does. One could call the series a match-up of teamwork vs. talent. The Pacers have eight players who averaged 8.9 points or more for them during the season. After the Big Three members, who combined to average 67.2, and point guard Mario Chalmers, who put up 9.8, the Heat had nobody else average more than 6.8. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra is paying most attention to Indiana's big guys, and the way they mix it up inside. Hibbert, West and burly reserves Tyler Hansbrough and Lou Amundson are among those who have no qualms about throwing their weight around. "This next series I'm sure will feel like it's played in a cage rather than a basketball court," Spoelstra said. "It will be extremely physical." With the Pacers having ample bulk, Spoelstra figures he'll dust off backup center Ronny Turiaf, after he recently recovered from a hamstring problem and wasn't in the rotation against the Knicks. But starting at center against the 7-2, 278-pound Hibbert will be Bosh, giving away four inches and 50 pounds using basketballreference.com measurements. "Hibbert is a challenge, but I'm more than capable of meeting that challenge," Bosh said. Maybe he'll create some headlines while doing that. Chris Tomasson can be reached at christomasson@hotmail.com or on Twitter @christomasson
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Best basketball players never to play in the NBA
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Dorial Green-Beckham fined for wearing non-charity Yeezy cleats

Chargers GM won’t commit to Mike McCoy’s return in 2017

Report: Police close to arresting Matt Barnes for alleged assault

Carmelo: Cryptic Instagram posts were about Phil Jackson

DeMarcus Cousins trade rumors won’t go away

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

NFL folks think Jabrill Peppers ‘more hype than substance'?

Joe Haden: Winless Browns the 'laughingstock of every joke’

Did Del Rio give Reid the stink eye after Thursday’s game?

Lane Kiffin reportedly believed Houston job was his

Harbaugh stands by claim Pats broke rules in 2015 playoff game

Green, Durant laughed at Jazz coach for not surrendering

Why UCLA's Lonzo Ball is the most interesting player in college hoops

The NBA goes courtside to curbside: Drinks and rides for discerning fans

The best (and worst) times athletes hosted 'SNL'

CFB Crash Course, Graduation: Final grades and awards

NHL All-Star Game fans are in search of another John Scott

Box Score 12/9: Carey Price has had enough of your nonsense

MLB Winter Meetings, Day 4: News, notes and rumors

Matt Ryan is now Mr. Pick-Two

Ten most significant developments of the NBA season

Ten bold predictions for NFL Week 14

Sporting life: Gifts for the fan who is always on point

MLB Winter Meetings report, Day 3: News, notes and rumors

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Why UCLA's Lonzo Ball is the most interesting player in college hoops

The NBA goes courtside to curbside: Drinks and rides for discerning fans

CFB Crash Course, Graduation: Final grades and awards

The five best (and worst) times athletes hosted 'SNL'

NHL All-Star Game fans are in search of another John Scott

Sporting life: Gifts for the fan who is always on point

Matt Ryan is now Mr. Pick-Two

MLB Winter Meetings, Day 4: News, notes and rumors

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

MLB Winter Meetings report, Day 3: News, notes and rumors

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker