Today’s Games (All times are Eastern):
|8:30 PM||Indiana Pacers||Miami Heat||Heat|
The Miami Heat will host Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals for the second consecutive season when the Indiana Pacers visit South Beach in today’s NBA Playoff Game of the Day. This will be a defensive battle and the team that can find a way to break through and score on a somewhat consistent basis will have a distinct advantage.
During the regular season, Indiana had the league’s most efficient defense (96.6 points per 100 possessions) while limiting opponents to 90.7 points per game on 42.0 percent shooting from the field. If Indiana hopes to have any success in this series, they will have to be solid and consistent on the defensive end of the floor possession after possession. Defense and rebounding will be the key to this series for the Pacers. Indiana, who outrebounded the Atlanta Hawks and New York Knicks by 9.8 boards per game in the first two rounds, will have to continue to own the glass to have a chance in this series. This is particularly true given the efficient manner in which the Heat have gone about their business this postseason.
Miami’s defense has been absolutely stellar during the playoffs. The Heat, who have not surrendered 100 points to a single postseason opponent, are leading the NBA in defensive efficiency (93.4 points per 100 possessions), opponent points per game (84.7), and opponent field goal percentage (40.9 percent) heading into these conference finals.
In addition to being the top defensive team during the playoffs, the Heat have been super-efficient on the offensive side of the ball. En route to an 8-1 playoff record, Miami has scored an incredible 109.1 points per 100 possessions and 1.36 points per shot while averaging 98.6 points per game on 49.1 percent shooting.
The Heat were incredibly efficient against the Milwaukee Bucks and Chicago Bulls in the first two rounds of the playoffs. If Miami plays with that type of efficiency—particularly offensively—against the Indiana Pacers, the Heat will have a very good chance of making their third consecutive NBA Finals appearance.
|Memphis Grizzlies 89||San Antonio Spurs 93||Grizzlies||Spurs|
Random NBA Fan’s Record in Yesterday’s Games: 0-1
Random NBA Fan’s Record for the Playoffs: 46-23