Before last night's game, LeBron James said the Heat would 'be ready' to face a Pacers team that had done a ton of trash talking against the Heat dating back to last year's Eastern Conference Semifinals when the Heat started that series down 2-1. Then the Pacers came out and dominated the boards en route to a 87-77 win over the Heat, who are now 3-4 in their last 7 games. FROZEN SHIT POPSICLES.
As always, Indiana played very physically in this match up of the No. 4-ranked NBA offense against the league's No. 2 defense in Indiana. The story -- as has been the case all too often this season with the Heat -- was the teams' inability to rebound (either on the offensive or defensive end) as Indiana out-rebounded the Heat 55 to 36. This was particularly frustrating on the offensive end as the Pacers gobbled up 22 offensive rebounds compared to the Heat's pathetic seven. This led to the Heat giving up 23 second chance points compared to Indiana only giving up 6.
Yes, the rebounding situation -- whether it's a legitimate issue or simply a lack of fucks to give (as has been the case often with this team during this championship defense) -- is a fuckin' problem out here! Here's to hoping Riley's workout of the Birdman yielded something positive because the Heat's inability to rebound is George Michael Bluth level right now.
Though the Heat were down early -- at one point it was 34-26 Indiana -- there were some promising signs of life as Dwayne Wade was on FIYAH in the first half, scoring 23 points in the first two quarters as the Heat managed to tie it up 42-42 by halftime. However, the Heat then completely ignored Wade for nine minutes in the third quarter like he was some Biblical leper angrily yelling while naked with a penis covered in genital warts. Wade still managed to score 30 points in the game (only the second time he's done so all season) but the quarter damned the Heat's effort to develop any kind of lead. As a result, the Heat were outscored 25-15 in the third quarter against a team missing its main scorer: the human vagina, Danny Grainger. Oh, you remember this asshole, right?
Of course, the Pacers don't win without some impressive performances in their own right. (*VOMITCOUGHVOMITFART*) Burgeoning star, Paul George, benefited from an offseason where he trained with King James, scoring 29 points on 12-of-29 shooting and 4 three pointers. Lance Stephenson -- in the role of 2012-2013 Random Scrub Heat Killer for this game -- added 13 points including 3-of-4 from 3-point land. David West (maybe the worst offender in the NBA of using his other hand to push off defenders when he has the ball) scored 14 points. The Pacers also got big minutes and help from their bench, especially during their second quarter run with 25 points off the bench against Miami's 11. Jesus, that team is annoying as Hell.
For the Heat, King James Cobradick Django scored 22 points to continue his streak of roughly 13,837 games with 20+ points but was 1-of-4 from the stripe so expect ESPN to implode over the next three days. Chris Bosh had a pedestrian 14 points but his paltry five rebounds were horrendous.
Yeah, the Heat have a rebounding problem but our conundrum as the CLEARLY INTELLIGENT AND KNOWLEDGEABLE FANS WE ARE is: the Miami Heat are still in first place in the East so we're in an enviable position and, truth be told, it's fucking January so who gives a shit? But still, when should we start to give a shit? When does this rebounding issue become 'a problem'? Is it one now that Riley's bringing 34-year old journeyman possible FBI 'persons of interest' in for workouts? AND WHEN DOES THE GAME START? Is it OK if we get there at 8:15 or so after our girlfriend's done getting ready?
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Meh. Probably nothin' to worry about just yet. Let's just go to the beach, bro!
The Miami Heat continue their road trip on to Portland on Thursday night. Tipoff is at 10:30 p.m.