Matchup: Indiana Pacers vs. Miami Heat
Date/Time: Friday, May 24, 8:30 p.m. (ET)
NBA Betting Odds: VietBet
Pointspread: Miami -7
Total Line: 180.5
Indiana did everything right to put itself in position to steal a win on the road in Game 1, but still came up just short in a 103-102 overtime loss as a 7.5-point underdog. The total went way OVER the 181.5-point line. This unexpected shootout for a Pacers’ team that averaged just 92 points in its first 12 playoffs games proved that it can stand toe-to-toe with the Miami Heat. However, the key to stealing a win on Friday night will be to quickly get this heart-breaking loss out of their head.
Indiana’s top players rose to the occasion on Wednesday night with Paul George and David West combining for 53 points while Roy Hibbert added 19 points and nine rebounds. The team, as a whole, shot a respectable 44.6 percent from the field and outrebounded the Heat 43-38. In the end, it was a breakdown on defense that kept the Pacers from getting a much-needed win.
That breakdown just so happened to be letting the NBA’s reining MVP wide-open for a game-winning layup with time running out in overtime. The legend of LeBron James coming-up huge on some of the NBA’s biggest stages only grew wider with a triple-double in Game 1 of 30 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.
James got some solid support from the rest of the Big Three with Dwyane Wade’s 19 points, six rebounds and five assists and Chris Bosh’s 17 points, but the victory will still be chalked-up to the King’s ability to come up with the big plays when his team needs them the most. Overall, Miami won the battle of points-in-the-paint 60-48 and shot 47.7 percent from the field, but this game remained extremely tight from the opening tip. Neither team had a lead greater than seven points all night long and this margin shrunk to just four points over the final 20 minutes of play.
Free NBA Pick
It is highly doubtful that Indiana will go on to win this series, but it certainly proved that it belongs in the Eastern Conference Finals with Wednesday night’s performance. They may not be able to steal a straight-up win in Friday night’s game either, but the free NBA pick for this matchup is once again the Pacers and the points.
Miami 91 Indiana 86
DJ is a freelance writer that concentrates on his true passion in life; the world of sports. He produces a number of articles each week for BangTheBook.com as well as a select group of other websites that specialize in providing the most up-to-date information for the sports gaming industry. His goal is to write insightful articles on a wide variety of sporting topics that can provide an edge to today's sophisticated online player.