The Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers have reached the end of their 2013 NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Playoffs battle with tonight’s decisive game 7, and what a battle it has been. The Heat are hoping the series pattern holds up of winning every other game. If it does then LeBron James and crew will be the victors and advance to the NBA Finals to face the San Antonio Spurs. The Pacers, of course, hope to break the pattern and complete the upset.
With the chance of elimination tangible, Indiana controlled Game 6 for much of the contest with Paul George able to trade baskets with James and close the game with 28 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists. Even with Lance Stephenson struggling for the second straight game with only 4 points, George Hill was able to shake off a rough Game 5 and knock down 16 points and 6 assists.
Roy Hibbert was once again a beast for the Pacers down low with 24 points and 11 rebounds. Along with George and David West, the Pacers have bumped and grinded with the Heat as well as anyone and hope to seal a Game 7 win with another lopsided rebounding performance as they did in Game 6 by out-rebounding the Heat by a margin of 53 to 33.
James knows the Heat didn’t play up to expectations in Game 6 and much like after their Game 4 loss will be coming out with a vengeance. He had a great Game 6 with 29 points and was able to pull the Heat to within 4 points in the fourth quarter, but it quickly became clear that LeBron needed scoring help that never came as the next highest scorer, shared by Dwayne Wade and Mario Chalmers, each had only 10 points.
Either Wade or Chris Bosh – or preferably both – need to step up big time in Game 7 else the Heat might be simultaneously run out of their own building and the NBA Playoffs. Bosh was a miserable 1 for 8 in Game 6 with 5 points and 4 rebounds. Wade had 10 points and only 2 rebounds and 1 assist. Neither player is 100 percent healthy, but excuse time is over as the Heat face their first elimination game of the Playoffs.
Tonight’s winner take all Game 7 of the NBA 2013 Playoffs Eastern Conference Finals between the scrappy Indiana Pacers and wavering Miami Heat tips off at 8:30/7:30c in high definition (HD) exclusively on TNT. Viewers that purchased a cable or satellite subscription with TNT in their package have the option of watching a free online live streaming version of Game 7 in Miami here at TNT Overtime via a mobile phone, iPad, laptop or other Internet connected device. LeBron James has played a huge role in Heat wins. I predict he will have his crew pumped up and ready to seal a series victory over the Pacers by a 89-86 final tally.