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And Another Thing

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Pacers: The one that got away

Well that was ... dismaying.

By now I've watched the final play of Heats-Pacers last night a dozen times, waiting for someone, anyone, maybe even Stuart Gray or Greg Dreiling, to pick up LeBron James as he slices to the rim. No one ever does.

So the Pacers lose in OT because someone falls asleep on the defensive end, and Roy Hibbert wasn't on the floor to contest the shot ala the block on Carmelo Anthony. So blame this one on a defensive lapse and a head coach who wasn't thinking straight by keeping Hibbert on the bench at the end.

On the other hand ...

Well, on the other hand, the Pacers lost in OT. In Miami. After 18 ties and 17 lead changes. And they won all but the last 2.2 seconds.

What that says to me is the Pacers can beat these guys. I don't know if they can do it four times, but I'm not as sure about that as I was 24 hours ago. These are two extraordinarily evenly matched teams.

If the Pacers couldn't stop LeBron, who had 30, 10 and 10, the Heat couldn't stop Paul George, who scored 27. And, at least last night, the Heat proved incapable of matching up with the Pacers' bigs. Hibbert (19) and David West (26) combined for 45 points and 14 boards.

In other words: Strap in. This one's likely to go awhile.

Ben Smith's blog.

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