The Heat-Pacers series has produced few trends. Much has been made of the Pacers domination on the glass—the Heat have been outrebounded every game this series—but the Heat have won games where they were outrebounded by five, nine and one.
In the games the Heat have lost they have lost the glass battle by an average of 15 boards. To win they just need to keep the rebounding close.
The one statistic that seems to heavily correlate with Pacers success is the combined scoring differential of Pacers Lance Stephenson and George Hill compared to Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh of the Heat.
In the Pacers three wins, their backcourt has outscored Wade and Bosh by an average of 6 points. In Miami’s three wins, Wade and Bosh have outscored the Pacers backcourt by an average of 14 points.
This bodes very well for the Pacers. Over the last three games, Bosh and Wade have averaged 18 points on 29 per cent shooting. Stephenson and Hill have averaged 21 points on 40 per cent shooting. Of course, this is a small sample size, but such is the nature of the playoffs.
Within this limited measure, the most important player is George Hill. In Game 4 and Game 6 victories, Hill scored 19 and 16 points, respectively. Hill may well be the most important player for the Pacers to keep on the floor; his backup, D.J. Augustin, has been horrendous in this series, averaging 2.5 points per game.
Wade is mired in the worst playoffs of his career and Bosh has scored in single digits in three straight games for the first time since his rookie year. If Hill can avoid foul trouble and Stephenson can keep his head on straight, look for the Pacers to beat the Heat tonight.
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