Eastern Conference Finals: Miami Heat at Indiana Pacers

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

After two days without NBA basketball, the Conference Finals get underway in the East with the Pacers hosting the Heat.

Heat at Pacers
2:30 pm Central
ABC

It's hard to imagine the Heat losing to the Pacers in the Eastern Conference Finals, even though the Pacers have home court advantage. The Pacers stumbled through two rounds of playoffs, almost managing to lose to the Atlanta Hawks, and having real trouble with the Washington Wizards, while the Heat lost one game (to a hot shooting Nets squad) over two rounds, and never were in any real trouble.

The Pacers, however, took the Heat to seven games in last season's ECF, and split with them in the regular season. They are something of a match up problem for the Heat, as Roy Hibbert has consistently deterred them from attacking the rim, and their perimeter defenders, notably Paul George and Lance Stevenson, are big and strong enough to at least cause problems for the LeBron James.

The big question is whether the Pacers will be able to score enough to make their defense a winning proposition. Roy Hibbert will have to be at least a consistent source of some offense for the Pacers, especially on the pick and roll.  David West can only make so many pick and pop jumpers, and the Pacers lack a three point game that can consistently keep them in games. In fact, the three point line might be the biggest disparity in this series, as the Heat have several good long range shooters who can help break open games if they get any space, while the Pacers are really lacking from behind the arc.

At any rate, after a brief hiatus, the playoffs are back.  Enjoy the game. Chat about it here.

Also, feel free to chat about the Lynx home opener, which is today at 4:00 pm against the Connecticut Sun. The Lynx will hoist their championship banner in a pregame ceremony.  The game is being televised on FSN Plus.

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