By Charles Jay
It is simply imperative for the Miami Heat to come back and win Game 2 of their Eastern Conference playoff series against the Indiana Pacers. However, many people believe that the pressure is actually on the Pacers, who want to come out with something better than just a split when this series shifts to Miami for Game 3.
VietBet customers know that there was probably no more impressive a performance in this entire season for the Pacers than they had in Game 1 of this series. What they were hoping and dreaming of came to pass, to a certain extent. They had the defending champion Heat on their home floor; they were able to go inside and do just about anything they wanted, and they were letting the ball fly around the halfcourt with enough balanced scoring that they had the Heat’s defense bamboozled, to say the least. NBA playoff bettors know that even coach Erik Spoelstra admitted as much in the post-game press conference.
The result of all of this was a 107-96 victory in which Indiana went to the line a total of 37 times, and truth be told, the Pacers were in control virtually from start to finish. Miami had almost no balance at all – Dwyane Wade had 27 points, which was encouraging, and LeBron James got his numbers (25 points, ten rebounds), but no other member of the starting lineup scored in double figures. But what a lot of people have been pointing to, at least among NBA bettors who are supporting the Heat, is that there wasn’t enough size inside for Miami. Does that sound familiar? Yes it does, as it was in last year’s Eastern Conference finals.
Roy Hibbert even came to life, with 19 points, nine of which came at the free throw line. There is a lot of pressure on Chris Bosh to defend, and Spoelstra is expected to give much more playing time to Udonis Haslem, who got only eleven minutes of playing time in Game 1.
As the Heat tries to even up this series, here are the NBA playoff betting odds as they have been posted at VietBet:
Miami Heat -2.5
Indiana Pacers +2.5
Over 184.5 points -110
Under 184.5 points -110
As you can see, there is a lot of confidence that the Heat can recover and make this series a 1-1 proposition as they return to Miami. There is a lot to support that confidence, in the sense that the Heat has covered six of the last seven games in those situations where they have found themselves down in a playoff series. In other words, these are the champions, and they are going to get enough respect until they prove otherwise.
And let’s be honest – Indiana has not been a model of consistency in the second half of the season. After all, they are just 19-18 straight-up in their last 37 games, and those customers at VietBet who have looked closely know that this team has been outplayed decisively on a few occasions right there at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
If the Pacers can repeat their level of intensity, they aren’t going to be in bad shape. They didn’t get a lot of help from the bench, but they were a hard team to defend, because everyone was in on the scoring load. The five starters had between nine and 13 field goal attempts, for example. The difference, of course, was 37 free throw tries on the part of Indiana. Miami hopes that it will put a combination on the floor that will permit them to play defense without fouling as much.
Keep in mind that the Heat shot 51% from the field and had 54 points in the paint, so the metrics were not all bad. We’ll see if some other things get equalized for them.
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