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Tame end to the Eastern Conference finals

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The conclusion of the Eastern Conference finals between the Heat and Pacers

was not like anything the fans expected. Game 7 had so much promise of being the best game yet in the series but instead it was a blow out by the Heat and a rather lukewarm nonchalant performance from the Pacers. After being annihilated by the Pacers in game 6 many doubted the Heat and hopped on the Pacers bandwagon but were rather disappointed when the wagon crashed in South Beach, Miami. The game ended 99-76 giving the Heat the win and their third straight trip to the NBA finals.

Lebron James is always Lebron, doing what he does best, representing his team will making shots and generating the offense. He ended with 32 pts and 8 rebs. However it was Dwayne Wade, who had a questionable game 4 and 5, who stepped up to the table and delivered when his team needed him the most. The ailing Wade had 21 pts.  Ray Allen who struggled in the series made a couple clutch 3’s for his team he added 10 pts.

Roy Hibbert scored 18 pts and 8 rebs for the Pacers, David West who did well in the first half ended with 14 pts. George Hill had 13 pts while Laance Stephenson had 10pts. Paul George had a miserable game and he ended with 7 pts, 2-9 and was later fouled out early in the 4th

The Pacers had a lot of energy in the first quarter but that’s where it ended and the Heat who shot under 30% in that quarter came back with a vengeance. They had their eyes on the prize and had a 15 points lead to go in the half. The breakdown of the Pacers occurred in the second quarter when the coach rested George and Hibbert and Miami took advantage of this.  The Pacers experienced turnover difficulties early they; had 15 in the first half. The Heat led by as many as 28 points which was frustrating for the Pacers.  Miami Heat had a better defensive game than the noted best defensive team in the NBA. While the Pacers had foul trouble; Paul George had 5 fouls heading into the 4th and Roy Hibbert picked up his 5th foul in the third quarter.

The Pacers could not maintain the momentum that they displayed throughout the series and the Heat showed up when it was necessary. The Pacers exceeded all expectations this season and should not feel embarrassed or disappointed. The fans were highly disappointed with the final game but the Pacers, who have a strong team,  need to improve  their bench. Miami’s task is not over -  they will now have to the face the Spurs.

The Spurs should be well rested and in full swing for the finals. The 4- time defending champions have what it takes to win but it won’t be easy. The NBA defending champions the Heat have a lot to prove and are expected to deliver. The Spurs team is a more mature team in terms of number of years together and age but they can play. They have the guys that can do it, notably Tim Duncan who is going for his fifth ring and Tony Parker. They are however not as fit as the Heat. The Heat also has an excellent bench, Chris Anderson and Ray Allen are always there to put in quality minutes. Both teams are good three point shooting teams and both can defend. This series will be eventful and  many hope it will be a thriller. The first game will be on Thursday in South Beach Miami where the Heat will host the Spurs.

 

Story by Marsha-Ree Lawrence