The second round of the playoffs gets started on Sunday afternoon for NBA betting fans, and it all gets underway with a clash at American Airlines Arena between the Miami Heat and the Indiana Pacers.
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This is where we are going to find out just how legit the Pacers are. They played well for the most part against the Orlando Magic in the first round, though they were certainly in positions in a lot of games to lose against a clearly inferior team. Now though, they are taking on a clearly superior team, and this is where the rubber will meet the road, per se. In that opening round series, Indiana did a nice job of playing perimeter defense, something that is going to have to stay the case again in this series. Offensively, Danny Granger averaged 21.4 points and 7.0 boards per game. David West was good for 15.8 points and 9.6 rebounds per game, while Roy Hibbert put together 11.0 points, 10.8 boards, and 3.8 blocks per night. This is where the Pacers are going to win this series if they do, as their superior size is going to have to show, and the guards are going to have to do a good job blocking out Dwyane Wade and forcing him to take long range shots instead of having the ability to slash to the hoop.
It almost seems as though the coronation of the Heat as NBA Champs has begun. With the Chicago Bulls practically finished and the Boston Celtics not really looking like they are ready to necessarily put aside the Atlanta Hawks, there just aren’t all that many teams in the East that figure to be able to keep up with the Heat. Indiana is definitely an unheralded opponent though, and Miami isn’t going to want to take this lightly. The team played five very uneven games against the New York Knicks in the first round, and in that series, it was no surprise who the stars were that shined. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade averaged almost 50 points per game between them, and Chris Bosh, in spite of the birth of his child during the series, was good for 15.0 points and 7.2 boards per game. The real surprises though, were those perimeter players. Mario Chalmers, Mike Miller, and Shane Battier all hit some massive three-point shots down the stretch against the Knicks, and if that keeps up, there isn’t a team in the league that is going to find a way to cool down the Heat.
Indiana Pacers @ Miami Heat Pick: Game 1 of this series is going to be all Miami. We just think that the Pacers are going to come into South Beach and find that this is a much, much different series than the one against Orlando, and the pace of this series will be set by the Heat, who should post a relatively easy double-digit victory.
Free Basketball Pick: Miami Heat -8.5
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.