The NBA: 2013 ECF: Scorching Heat Take Game 3

Udonis Haslem was active on both sides of the court in Game 3.
UD finished with 17 points and 7 rebounds in 23 minutes
(Image from: Michael Conroy/AP)

#RedHotHeat #ontheblock #lowpost
Prior to Game 3, Miami's largest lead in the series was 5 points and they have not shot the ball efficiently. Their offense has sputtered and the turnovers were uncharacteristically high. All of that changed in Game 3 plus a few other things that all favored Miami. The Heat exploded for 70 points in the first half to finish with 114 and won by 18 points on the road. They finished with just 5 turnovers and shot 55% from the field while going 24-28 from the foul line. LeBron James had so-so stats with 22 points and 3 assists but he dominated on the block against Paul George. LBJ manhandled PG24 with an array of low post moves that focused on the left block. James would back down George with about 4 dribbles then he would finish with a lefty shot that George had no shot of contesting. The Pacers decided NOT to send help against James and they effectively left George on an island. James feasted on that match-up and the results were great for Miami. Miami also got a solid game from Dwyane Wade with 18 points and 8 assists including a couple of highlight plays that reminded us that he is still a superstar.

#ThisisUD #Little12 #bigs
The Heat needed the others to step up and contribute. They were not going to beat the Pacers with LeBron doing everything. Finally, some players on Miami decided to announce their presence in this series and one of them was Udonis Haslem. He had his best playoff game since 2006 and had a season-high 17 points on 8-9 shooting. UD was hitting his trademark baseline jumpers all night long as Roy Hibbert kept leaving him open. Meanwhile, Chris "Birdman" Andersen has been unstoppable in the paint. He is still perfect in this series at 13-13 FGs after going 4-4 for 9 points and 9 rebounds. He is shooting 35 of 41 in the playoffs and is easily their best player off the bench in this series. The Heat's bigs played better than Hibbert and West and when that happens, Miami is unbeatable. Heck, even Ray Allen (2-6), Norris Cole (1-5) and Shane Battier (1-4) made timely three-pointers. They have not exactly broken out of their shooting slumps but a made shot in this game could trigger a better shooting performance in the next game.    

#PacerNation #BeattheHeat
The Pacers did not play that bad at all. They shot 14 more FTs, made 2 more threes and out-rebounded the Heat by 9. Indiana only had 11 turnovers while limiting Miami to 6 fast break points. The Pacers had 4 of their starters in double figures plus Roy Hibbert and David West finished with double-doubles as they combined for 41 points and 27 rebounds. Paul George did not shoot particularly well but he had 8 assists to go with his 5 turnovers. Indiana was limited to below 40% shooting while their FTs faltered at 30 of 44 after shooting close to 80% in the first 2 games. Indy's problems were clearly on the defensive side since Miami torched them from the opening tip until the final buzzer. Miami never trailed after the 1st quarter and the Pacers only got close by 7 points before Miami put on another run to end all hopes of a comeback. The Heat rolled out a flawless offensive game which the Pacers did not have enough firepower to match. Can Miami duplicate the same efficiency for Game 4?

#Game4 #Preview #chessmatch
The Heat made adjustments by putting LBJ on the block more and Coach Spo made minor tweaks in the rotation. Haslem was active and aggressive with his jumper while Wade involved in the drives to the paint. It will be up to Coach Vogel to adjust and game plan for Game 4. Expect the Pacers to send help when James is back in the post. Hibbert was also late on a few rotations so expect him to improve his defensive reads on when to help. That would give Miami more open shots and it will be up to their shooters to make the Pacers pay. Miami cant shot 55% from the field again, right? Allen and Battier have yet to find their shooting stroke but if they make a few shots in Game 4, the Pacers are in deep trouble. The Heat bench was averaging 35 points in the playoffs but so far vs the Pacers, they have been scoring around 25 points. It is also unreasonable to expect Haslem to score 17 points again while shooting a high percentage so Chris Bosh needs to be more engaged offensively PLUS he needs to rebound. Bosh only grabbed 3 boards to up his total rebounds to 10 in 3 games. Dwyane Wade also needs to attack more and less on jumpers. The Pacers have to make their FTs and they need to force turnovers to create easier shots. Lance Stephenson needs to start making shots while Paul George cant wait for the 2nd half before he starts scoring.  

#Stats #News
  • Miami has not lost back-to-back games since January
  • Miami still perfect on the road at 5-0
  • Heat dominated points in the paint: 52-36
  • LeBron James was +22
  • Stephenson was 2-10, he is shooting 6 of 32 vs the Heat
#Player of the Night
Dwyane Wade (Heat) - 18 points, 4 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 blocks and a vintage Wade dunk!  

#Highlight of the Night
D-Wade circa 2006

#Tweets of the Nights

Champs made adjustments.. Our turn! A joy to play this game..

Frank Vogel on Udonis Haslem: "Is he going to shoot 8 for 9 every night? If he does, it will probably be a long series for us.''

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