The Miami Heat didn't play one of their best games in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Indiana Pacers, while the Pacers gave it close to their best shot, but newly crowned 2012 NBA MVP LeBron James & Co. still won by nine points.
The Pacers may have been given a chance when Chris Bosh went down with a lower abdominal strain and missed the second half of Game 1. Though the Heat stormed back to win after losing for the entire first half, James played every minute of the second half and grabbed 15 rebounds. With no Bosh, the Pacers' front line of Roy Hibbert, David West, Tyler Hansbrough and Lou Amundson may be able to dominate the glass enough to give the Heat trouble whenever James isn't on the floor.
On the other hand, no Pacers guard scored15 points in Game 1 with Paul George fouling out and George Hill getting five called on him, too. Though the Pacers can snare most rebounds, without perimeter scoring against a team that features James and Dwyane Wade (who scored 29 in Game 1), they're not going to be able to keep pace. Darren Collison played effectively in his time on the floor, but head coach Frank Vogel took him out for most of the fourth quarter. If Vogel can't find effective guard play in the key moments of the game — or fails to recognize it — this is going to be a fast series.
Game Date/Time: Tuesday, May 15, 7 p.m. ET
Location: American Airlines Arena, Miami, Fla.