NBA Playoffs: If the Pacers Win This Series...
By Dennis Loo (5/28/13)
... it will be in spite of the refereeing and NBA Commissioner David Stern's obvious preference that superstar LeBron James and the rest of the Heat play in the NBA Finals compared to the small market team of the Indiana Pacers.
The Indiana Pacers, despite some exceptionally bad calls that looked for all the world like the refs trying to hand the Miami Heat the pivotal game four, stuck to their guns and prevailed to lock the series at 2 all tonight and avoid going down 3-1. The Pacers were aggressive and refused to quit. In contrast to Pacers' coach Frank Vogel's lack of an appropriate game plan in last year's playoffs, failing to take advantage of Pacer's center Roy Hibbert's height and strength over Miami's inside players, they are for the most part using their inside length advantage this year. Hibbert is also a much better offensive player than he was last year. Kudos to the Pacers and best wishes.
As for the Heat's Shawn Battier and Dwayne Wade - your dirty plays (e.g., Battier's deliberate knee to Hibbert's groin in Game 1) are evident to those with eyes to see. Unfortunately, to the on-air TNT commentators Steve Kerr and Reggie Miller, Wade jumping into the air in order to clobber Pacer's Lance Stephenson at his temple with his forearm in Game 2, these dirty plays look "inadvertent." Perhaps former basketball players' eyes aren't as sharp because the basketball is so big?