NBA Picks: Pacers vs. Heat Game 3

Steven Suarez

Saturday, May 24, 2014 12:31 PM GMT

Saturday, May. 24, 2014 12:31 PM GMT

The Heat did what they set out to do, taking control of home-court advantage by earning a split in Indiana. Now Miami returns home for a crucial Game 3, a game in which they'll be firm favorites in the NBA odds. What's the play?

Odds Overview
Back in South Beach, the Heat are heavily favored, giving away 6.5 points to the visiting Pacers. So far, we've seen a split against the spread in the first two games of the series. 

For Game 3, the O/U ranges from 183 to 183.5, with the 'over' and 'under' each hitting once heading into tonight. 

 

Indiana Pacers
In what was a tough, physical game from the opening tipoff, the Pacers couldn't make the necessary plays down the stretch to go up 2-0 in the series. 

The Heat stepped up defensively, holding Indiana to 40.0 percent shooting overall. The Pacers did hit nine threes, but only got to the line 15 times in all, a far cry from what we saw in Game 1.

The player of the game for Indiana was Lance Stephenson, who had 25 points on 10-of-17 shooting, and added seven assists, and six rebounds. The rest of the starting lineup all scored in double figures, but Paul George and David West combined to shoot just 9-of-32 from the floor.

The bench gave Indiana next to nothing in the loss, totaling nine points, and Paul George also knocked his head and had to play through dizziness in the closing stages.

The good news is George has been cleared to play in Game 3 after passing all of the concussion tests. It was already going to be tough sledding with George out there, but could you imagine Indiana playing without their best player against LeBron and company? 

 

Miami Heat
Sometimes it really pays off to have two superstars on your team. 

LeBron James and Dwyane Wade were terrific throughout in Game 2, but they really stood out in the fourth quarter when it mattered most. They made countless clutch plays in the closing minutes and pretty much carried the Heat to a victory by themselves.

Doing a little bit of everything, LeBron scored 22 points with seven boards, six dimes, three blocks and two steals, while Wade had 23 points, five rebounds and five assists while shooting a very efficient 10-of-16 from the field.

The team shot 50.7 percent overall, 40.0 percent (8-of-20) from three and 61.1 percent (11-of-18) from the line. Chris Bosh was quiet again (nine points and six boards) but Norris Cole came up big with 11 points(and some great defense) and Chris Andersen chipped in 12 rebounds off the bench.

It's all hands on deck for a pivotal Game 3. What kind of adjustments will Erik Spoelstra make? Will Bosh finally step up and make himself known? Which role player will be the X factor this time around?

 

Prediction: Jordan Sharp is all over the Heat in Game 3, and we completely agree with his thoughts.

Miami locked in down the stretch of Game 2, and proved just how valuable experience, and true star quality can really be. They had the best two players on the court in LeBron and D-Wade, and they were making everything happen in the fourth quarter.

We don't think Game 3 will end up being as close. Miami has yet to lose at home in the playoffs and we don't see that changing tonight. They should be fired up in front of the home fans and we reckon the supporting cast will step up even more, leading to a cover for the hosts.

Free NBA Pick: Heat -6.5 for your basketball pick tonight.


[gameodds]5/291356/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

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