Anyway, while I've been away, the Pacers put away the Magic in five, which I thought they would. The Heat also put the Knicks away in five. To be honest, I'm surprised New York managed to win a game at all.
I'll be upfront here. I don't think the Pacers are quite ready to beat the Heat in a best of seven. On the other hand, can the Pacers push the Heat to six or seven games? I think so.
The Pacers have played the heat tough the past few years. This season, the Heat are 3-1 against the Pacers. Game one was closer than you would think going by the final score, 118-83 in favor of the Heat. The Pacers held close for half the game, but the game did eventually get away from the Pacers. The second game also doesn't look great by the final score (105-90, Heat), but a lot of that was an awful first quarter by the Pacers. They were playing catch up all night and just didn't get there. The Heat won the third game as well, but this one was close by any standard. Final score of 93-91 in overtime, and the Pacers led at halftime. In the final game, the Pacers finally beat the Heat, 105-90. It was a lot like the previous Heat-Pacer games, but the Pacers finally were the team that were just a little bit better.
In a seven game series, when both teams are going to get to know each other pretty intimately, I think you'll find that these teams are more closely matched than most national media would like to admit. Sure, the Heat have the superstars, which will most likely be enough firepower to win the series. But the Pacers are a pretty complete team, which should let them win two or three games, especially if the Pacers can find a way to slow down LeBron and/or Wade. And, you know, if the Mavericks could pull off the big upset last year, it wouldn't be the most shocking upset if the Pacers could do so as well.
And not to get ahead of myself, but with the Bulls looking awfully banged up, that gives the Pacers a very good shot to find themselves as Eastern Conference champions if they can find a way to get past the Heat.
Anyway, I'm not banking on that. One series at a time. This series tips off on Sunday, which is Mother's Day, of course, so I don't know that I'll get to watch it live. Still, watching it live or recorded, you'll want to know it's Sunday at 3:30 on ABC. Let's hope the Pacers don't freeze up on a national broadcast, which definitely happened the last series.