The second round did not start well for Miami. The Pacers looked to be more game for an East semifinal than Miami, the team with the MVP (LeBron) who’d just accepted the award before the game from David Stern. The building was loud, even by TV — and South Beach — standards. But it was like Indiana came out with Bose headphones on, with Roy Hibbert (17 points) and David West (17 points, 12 boards) knocking out all the noise and knocking down all the shots in the early going. Well, every drama needs three acts, and the second, an abdominal injury to Chris Bosh, beget a third, where James and Dwyane Wade took over and stole Game 1 in the process. In honorable mention for Wade was his nasty, and necessary, follow-block in the final five minutes. … It was there for Indiana, who showed they have much more than just a puncher’s chance to win this series. But now that quest is in an 0-1 hole, thanks to Wade and LBJ, who combined to score 20 straight points in the fourth. A couple crazy stats from ABC’s broadcast spelled out how the tempo and flow utterly changed for Miami in the second half here: LBJ and Wade outscored Indiana 42-38 in the second half; and those two scored or assisted on 48 of the teams’ 53 second-half points. … A game that never went more than two points out of Indiana’s control in the first half and stayed within about five until the final 30 seconds needed someone to say, OK, I got this. Miami’s two did. LBJ scored 32 with 15 boards and D-Wade had 29 and Miami got a huge assist by Joel Anthony‘s nine points and seven assists after stepping into Bosh’s role. We love guys like Anthony and Kenneth Faried for their motors and their knowledge of their roles. … The third leg of Miami’s Big Three has always been a ready target for not being steady enough to hold up his end. But after scoring 13 points in 16 minutes, we all got the Kobe “not bad” face ready. Bosh will get an MRI. Abs control how well your back holds itself together, in particular, so it’s a tricky injury. And contrary to what jokesters think, he will definitely be needed against West and Hibbert, who are huge problems even with Bosh in the lineup. … Miami didn’t hit a single three and only tried six. Indicative of how Spoelstra wanted his guys to get inside as much as possible given they weren’t shooting so hot (40 percent for each team, actually). … Hit the jump to hear about Los Angeles sneaking in a second team to the second round.
The two most entertaining series both involved the City of Angels but who expected Kenyon Martin to ball out in the fourth quarter like he was in Cincy? Most notable this postseason for having a supposed stalker walk out on Denver’s court asking for him, Martin dropped seven of his 11 points (he added 10 boards) in the fourth. For that matter, who expected the Clips’ bench to carry the fourth-quarter swagger that usually belonged to CP3? We can talk all day about what kind of a sign it is for your second round hopes when your bench needs to lead your club in a Game 7 but Martin, Nick Young (13 points) and Eric Bledsoe (eight points) all had huge hands in outscoring the Grizz bench 41-11 in a 10-point win. Bledsoe had a full-court dash to the cup that would have made Danny Ainge get just a tiny bit nostalgic. This was the first time this series Young outplayed his crazy Argentinian flag-inspired shirt from Game 5. That corner triple leaning into the first row was nice and even his missed reverse going baseline was perfect — right into Martin’s hands. … CP3 wasn’t absent or anything, just still banged up and obviously hindered in getting 19 points and nine boards. Blake Griffin had a night worth forgetting on offense (and yet someone will still find something to YouTube from this game) but it was like he’d accepted how bad he was (3-of-12 shooting) faring and went after Zach Randolph on D instead. Nine points and 12 boards isn’t a bad night for Z-Bo in the preseason, but in Game 7 he needed to be better about finding himself in open areas. … A final Agent Zero sighting: 3 minutes, 0-1 from the field, nothing else to report. … We’re out like Memphis to the fishing hole.
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