Every morning, we'll give you five things from the night before in the NBA to start your day.1: Pacers demolish Miami
This was a beat down. Pure and simple. Don't let the halftime tie fool you. The Pacers took control of this game in the second quarter after coming out strong and letting off the gas to go down nine after one quarter. They reversed that in the second and then it was ON in the second half. When it finally turned off, the Pacers had a 94-75 win, and a 2-1 series lead.
The Heat inexplicably started Dexter Pittman at center in an obvious desperation move to make up for the loss of Chris Bosh somehow. That experience ended after an embarrassing THREE minutes in which Pittman missed twice, committed a foul, and looked generally lost. He never saw the floor again. This was a horrific coaching decision that crushes the confidence of a young player and signals to the team "I'm really reaching here."
Later, Dwyane Wade and Erik Spoelstra got into a bit of an argument, and Miami looked flat-out disinterested in any sort of comeback. Indy's got the pieces to make Miami miss Chris Bosh, and maybe, miss the conference Finals.2: San Antonio is too good
The San Antonio Spurs are good. Really good. Admirably good. So good, people are writing things like this..
Perhaps Oklahoma City will win the Western Conference finals, but make no mistake: These Spurs would absolutely take apart the Heat in the NBA Finals – with Bosh or without him.
They would. They toyed with the Clippers last night, finishing with a 105-88 win... their 16th straight. The last time they lost, you were still putting off doing your taxes (April 11, vs. the Lakers). At this rate, you wonder if they're going to lose again.
The thing with the Spurs is, you can just go ahead and put 105 points on the board to end every night, and then play around with the scorers to make it all add up. Ginobili for 20 one night but 10 the next? Sure. Boris Diaw will just drop 16 and make up the difference. Stephen Jackson scoreless off the bench? No problem, Tiago Splitter and Gary Neal will just combine to make that up for you.
The Spurs are a swarm of killer bees. You look at each bee individually and you think "eh, we can manage this"... but in the swarm, they attack from too many directions and with too much force. And just like the bees, they'll leave you flailing and looking stupid as you try to save yourself.3: HIGHLIGHTS!!!
George Hill with the chase-down block
Caron Butler shows the Clippers at least got highlights
LeBron with the big finish
4: Line of the Night: Roy Hibbert: 19 points, 18 rebounds, 5 blocks
Roy Hibbert did what he wanted, when he wanted... and he did it how he wanted to do it. The Miami Heat are lucky that Indiana is a team built on ball movement and equal touches for everyone, or else Hibbert could have gone for 30+. The Heat are going to have to find an answer for Hibbert soon... or else they're screwed.
Total random stat: As impressive as a near-20/20 game is, Bill Russell twice averaged 20+ points and 25+ rebounds for an entire playoffs. He made the playoffs all 13 years he was in the league, averaged 45.4 minutes in the playoffs, and put up 16.2 points, 24.9 rebounds, and 4.7 assists.5: You can quote me on that
“That happens. That really is nothing. That’s the least of our concerns.”
-Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, on the blow up with Dwyane Wade
-Wade, on whether he had anything to say about the confrontation.
"All the gold, I was almost blind"
-Danny Granger, on Pacers fans wearing yellow shirts at the game
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