PG Turned R Rated
Paul George had one of the greatest games he has ever played both in the regular and postseason in Game 5 of this series, and almost by himself he grabbed the other Pacers and dragged them to a win. Even though George had an outstanding game with 37 points, six rebounds and six steals, the Pacers barely hung on to get the win in the 4th quarter. This was of course after they were trailing by nine points at half time with Lebron James sitting on the bench most of the game.
James was limited to 24 minutes due to foul trouble, and he sat a majority of the second half. He picked up his 4th foul within seconds of the 2nd half starting, and on an even more questionable call, he picked up his 5th diving for a loose ball. This put him out of the game until around eight minutes to go in the 4th quarter, and it was more than enough to give the Pacers an advantage.
However other than Paul George and David West, (In my opinion the only two players on this team with their heads on straight) the rest of the Pacers’ starters shot 37% from the floor and were almost nowhere to be found. Lance Stephenson’s biggest contribution to the game was blowing in Lebron’s ear.
Outside of Chris Bosh, the Heat played pretty bad in Game 5. Dwyane Wade had six turnovers, and of course Lebron was on the bench for more than half the game. Simply put, this was an anomaly, and the Pacers should have won this game by double figures. However they barely won the game, and now they have to go play the Heat in Miami, without the benefit of the questionable foul calls on James.
The Sharp Pick
I also don’t expect George to go for 30 again with James playing more than 24 minutes. Assuming Lebron is back on the floor in Miami and defending George, the young Pacers’ star won’t put up Game 5 numbers. The Pacers got lucky to win Game 5 in a spot where they should have won easily, and it should be all over after Friday.
Since the Big Three came together in Miami in 2011, they rank 3rd in the NBA at 47-32-1 ATS coming off of a loss. They are 57-23 SU in that same statistic, and overall, I would be surprised if we saw anything else than a Heat win and cover in Game 6. The Pacers have started to show their true colors in this series. Chris Bosh gets whatever he wants against Roy Hibbert when they need him to, if Wade isn’t carelessly turning the ball over he wins his matchup, and as long as James is on the floor, George will not go off, and the Heat will cover. So far these playoffs, the Heat are 9-5 ATS, and just this season they are 16-13-1 ATS coming off of a loss. Wednesday was a rough pick, but I have a feeling the Heat are going to make up for it on Friday night.
My Pick: Heat -7