NBA Roundhouse: May 24th, 2012

Hey, we’re now halfway to the Eastern Conference Finals! Too bad we still have to suffer through another Sixers-Celtics game before we get there (not to mention that the actual ECF is probably going to suck, but still) but progress! And there’s still Thunder-Spurs to look forward to, so that’s good. I proposed earlier this week that we award the East championship to the Heat and make Spurs-Thunder best of 15 rather than play out the farce that is the ECF, but that seems rather unlikely to happen. Ah well. On to the action.

Miami Heat 105, Indiana Pacers 93: Heat win series 4-2

May 24, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6) takes a rest along the foul line against the Indiana Pacers during game six of the Eastern Conference semifinals of the 2012 NBA playoffs at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Miam defeated Indiana 105-93. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

Well, as it turns out, the Heat are who we thought they were: basically a two-man team, but those two men are so good it doesn’t seem to matter much. It also turns out that the Pacers are not really what we thought they were, as their supposed depth turns out to pretty much suck. By game six, it had been pretty well established that anyone not named Roy Hibbert, David West, Danny Granger, Paul George, George Hill or Darren Collison should not be on the floor for Indiana, and those six are just not as good as LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.

And, as it turns out, LeBron and Wade are pretty freaking good. After Wade forgot to show up for game three — a pretty meh game for LeBron — the two kicked it up a notch, averaging 33 points (Wade) and 32.7 points (LeBron) over the final three games of the series. LeBron had 22-7-3 in game three, followed by 40-18-9, 30-10-8 and 28-6-7, while Wade had just 5 points and 5 turnovers in game three, followed by 30-9-6, 28-3-2 and 41-10-3. I have decided to take this as a reminder of why we were so scared when the two of them decided to join forces in the first place. I don’t see any way they don’t make the finals without LeBron and/or Wade suffering a serious injury.

For the Pacers, the starting lineup did its thing in game six, with all five members scoring in double figures, led by David West with 24, but the bench was awful. Leandro Barbosa was particularly atrocious, leading to people on Twitter openly speculating that he was shaving points because nobody could quite figure out what else he was doing. They destroyed Miami on the glass — not surprising, given that the Heat were missing their two best bigs in Chris Bosh and Udonis Haslem, who was suspended for game six following his flagrant foul in game five — but couldn’t make enough shots to overcome LeBron and Wade, especially when Wade was so hot it seemed like he would actually catch fire like a character in NBA Jam. Seriously, the man scored 41 points on 17/25 from the field. It only took him 25 shots despite not taking or making a single three and making just seven free throws. No way Philly or Boston competes with that, even if Bosh still isn’t playing.

Friday, May 25th:

Nothing, which means I get a day off! I mean, I’m sad there won’t be NBA games to watch, but still.

Saturday, May 26th:

Philadelphia 76ers at Boston Celtics Game 7, 7 PM CDT, ABC

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