Pacers to take control over the Heat

26May 2013



Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals switches to Indiana, and Sumeet Paul believes the Pacers have what it takes to upset the defending champions again...


Miami Heat @ Indiana Pacers

Live on Betfair Video and Sky Sports


After falling to a LeBron James-inspired buzzer-beating overtime loss in Game 1, the Indiana Pacers displayed their growing maturity by hitting back on Friday night to split the opening two games.


In fact, Frank Vogel's men have arguably been in control for the majority of this series and have put themselves in a great position to pull off what would be seen as a major upset.


They have been here before though, and they went on to win Game 3 in the second round series last year before losing three consecutively to see their season end.


However, both Vogel and his players have been keen to stress their improved ability and belief to put things right this time round, and have been very effective at both ends of the court.


Both Paul George and Roy Hibbert have been vital to their chances, with the former leading the way in points and assists per game in their playoff run, while the latter on average has the most rebounds and blocks.


Indiana's work on the defensive end has proven key as they have successfully limited the Heat's three-point shooting which can be devastating on its night. The Pacers have held them to 30 percent shooting from beyond the arc, and that is testament to the all-round contribution from their roster.


While Miami boast the "Big Three" in James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, George was keen to stress that Indiana rely on their "Big Five" and that their team contribution is what makes them such a formidable outfit.


The Pacers are 6-0 at home in the playoffs thus far, winning by an average of 14 points. However, they will appreciate the risk of home-court advantage being immediately wrestled back by Miami, who are 4-0 on the road in the postseason.


That would suggest that something must give on Sunday night, and with James desperate to bounce back from a disappointing performance last time out, you can't rule out the possibility of the Heat showing exactly why they are defending champions.


Nevertheless, Indiana have shown enough to suggest that they can handle what the Heat have to offer, while also putting up the points on the offensive end. They won both meetings at home during the regular season, and there is no reason why they can't do it again when it really matters.


With a raucous Bankers Life Fieldhouse capacity crowd cheering them on, expect the Pacers to continue their excellent work thus far and take another step towards the NBA Finals.


Recommended Bets

Back the Pacers to beat the Heat @ 2.12

Back over 182.5 pts @ 2.0



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Keywords: Pacers, Heat, Eastern Conference

Source: Betfair

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