LeBron James thrives on pressure about as much as a Kardashian sister thrives in a spelling bee. And make no mistake, LeBron will take the court in Indiana tonight with two tons of pressure on his massive shoulders after coming up small yet again at the end of a 78-75 Game 2 home loss to the Pacers (he missed two free throws in the final minute that would’ve given Miami the lead). James then subsequently admitted that having to shift to forward (in the wake of Chris Bosh’s injury) was “taxing” on him. So the reigning MVP is now making excuses even before he fails to come
through in the clutch.
Honestly, the only way I see the Heat winning this game is if they jump out to a big lead and
maintain it throughout. Thing is, I don’t think that’s possible. Indiana, which has been flying under the radar all season, is legit, and with Bosh out, the Pacers’ two significant advantages over the Heat (size and physical toughness) are only amplified. If not for a fourth-quarter meltdown in Game 1, the Pacers could have a 2-0 lead in this series. As it is, they’ve gotten better against Miami all season, losing the first meeting by 15, the second by two in overtime, winning the third by 15, losing Game 1 by nine (a misleading result) and then winning Tuesday.
Indiana is 25-11 overall at home this year, 7-3 ATS in its last 10 as a home underdog and 6-1
ATS in its last seven as an underdog of less than five points. Meanwhile, Miami is barely over .500 on the road (19-16), failing to cover in four of its last five on the highway. Finally, the underdog is 25-10-1 ATS in the last 36 Pacers-Heat meetings.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆
Monday’s Result: Diamondbacks-Rockies OVER 10½ (Loss)