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And Another Thing


The Heat is on

OK, first things first, in the wake of the Pacers' series-tying win vs. the Heat last night: LeBron James did not lose anything for the Heat.

The Pacers won it. And did it with a defensive plan that held everyone but LeBron and Dwyane Wade to five points or fewer, something that the Blob has been screaming about from the mountaintops since the Super Friends hooked up last year.

Which is: The way to beat the Heat is to concede that LeBron and D-Wade are going to get theirs (and to a lesser extent Chris Bosh, whose absence, last night showed, is going to be critical). The rest of the roster is the Rockford Lightning. Stop them, and you stop the Heat.

That's what happened last night, and, listen, don't come in here with more of that LeBron-went-AWOL-at-the-end stuff. Yeah, he bricked the three free throws down the stretch, but there is no "stretch" without him. And as for "passing" on making a game-winning play at the end .... well, he did make a game-winning play at the end. D-Wade blew the layup off LeBron's assist and Mario Chalmers, the team's best three-point shooter, missed the game-tying three at the end.

In both cases, the Heat, and LeBron, made the right play. LeBron got the ball into the right guy's hands for the layup, and Chalmers was the right guy to be taking the three at the end.

And so .... on to Indianapolis. And if you were laughing a couple of days ago when it was suggested the Pacers could actually win this series, you can stop now. They can.

Ben Smith's blog.