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While Spurs Lead 2-0 Over Memphis, The East Finals Catch Up With The West

Posted by Craig Parsons on 5/22/2013 7:32:48 PM

The conference finals in the NBA are beginning with an imbalanced schedule. The West’s Game 2 was played Tuesday night. The Eastern Conference finally catches up on Friday night.

Eastern Conference Finals, Game 2:
Indiana Pacers @ Miami Heat – Friday, May 24

A sound sports bet will probably be able to make a strong case for the Pacers in this specific game, even though Indiana is an obvious underdog in the whole series. When sports betting practitioners size up this tilt, they will have good reasons to lean to Indiana if Miami gets off to a big start in Game 1.

Game 1 hasn’t yet run its course – it is slated for late Wednesday night in South Florida – but if the Heat manage to draw first blood and take a 1-0 lead in the series (as most people think they will), you would want to adjust your prediction and overview for Game 2 on Friday.

Consider how tricky it must be to bet on Game 2 of this series in the event of a 1-0 Miami lead. If Miami loses Game 1, the Heat become an obvious choice in Game 2. However, a Miami win in Game 1 sets up a situation in which the Pacers will face that much more of an urgent task in Game 2. Indiana would need to leave South Florida with at least one win in its pocket, so that it doesn’t have to win four out of the next five (potential) games in the series.

Indiana also wants to be in a spot where it doesn’t have to win both Game 3 and 4 at home just to draw even in the series and essentially stay alive. Game 2, if indeed Miami leads 1-0, would be a near-must for the Pacers. Indiana would need to not only improve in the areas where it is already strong – offensive rebounding, perimeter defense, denying the rim with big man Roy Hibbert, and low-post scoring with forward David West – but in the areas where it has struggled this season. Indiana suffers on a number of fronts, chiefly turnovers, missed free throws, and balky three-point shooting.

In Game 2, expect Pacer head coach Frank Vogel – who has done great work in getting his team to the conference finals – to find ways of protecting the ball on offense and putting his players in better positions to score. Hoops junkies will remind you that Indiana lead Miami by a 2-1 series margin in last year’s playoffs (in the Eastern Conference semifinal round). The Pacers then lost the next three games, dropping the series by a 4-2 margin. The Pacers really wanted another shot at the Heat, and they’ve gained it. If Miami goes up 1-0, one should respect the Pacers’ commitment to all aspects of the craft of basketball.

This team is not only hungry, but it transforms hunger into increased defensive proficiency. The playoffs bring a level of ferocity in competition that would earn the respect of MMA betting specialists, and Indiana belongs at the big-boy table in this theater of mortal combat. The Pacers are, in other words, good enough to back up their aspirations. They might not beat the Heat in the series, but they are going to make Miami work very hard to advance to the NBA Finals. One should be ready to expect a 1-1 series when the action shifts to Indianapolis on Sunday evening. Take the Pacers here if Miami wins Game 1.

NBA Betting Pick: Indiana


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