“Statement games” rarely happen in December. The season’s just too long, with too many opportunities to rectify shortcomings or lose momentum. Yet, the Pacers beating their presumed lone Eastern Conference competition, the Miami Heat, 90-84 Tuesday night is the first step in what they are claiming as a championship or bust campaign.
Roy Hibbert led the charge with 24 points on 10-15 shooting and the anchor of a defensive blanket that held Miami to 37 second half points. For Miami, LeBron was forced into an uncharacteristic 6-16 from the floor while tallying 17 points, 14 rebounds, six assists, two steals and five turnovers (D-Wade went for 17-6-6-3).
Following the game, both squads seemed neither too ecstatic or bummed of the result. Nevertheless, these four thoughts disguised as tweets – 140 characters or less! – should catch anyone up to par if cliff notes are needed.
1. Both teams believe they’ll see each other come spring. Indy’s hellbent on the #1 seed. Miami’s more concerned with health. Collision course.
3. Something unique to ponder. How different do these games look with a healthy Greg Oden? Don’t laugh.
4. Neither team sees a rivalry yet. But someone is going to get ejected from one of these games. Who is Birdman or Stephenson for $1,000, Alex.
5. Don’t worry about waiting too long for the rematch either. Try next Wednesday on ESPN.