With the series all tied up and each team grabbing a win on the other's home court, neither Miami nor Indiana had a firm grip going into Game 5. Miami won in Indianapolis with such ease in Game 3, but the Pacers struck back so convincingly in Game 4 that it's become rather difficult to predict who will win.
Like last game, when Indiana came out hot, and Miami struggled to keep up. Dwyane Wade was a mess on offense, stumbling into bad shots and turnovers. Mario Chalmers looked like the only guy willing to drive to the rim, and the combination of Paul George and Roy Hibbert was rolling with little hindrance.
Here's a little lowlight reel of early shots courtesy of Udonis Haslem, Wade and Norris Cole (who gets my nod for worst shot of the series, and possibly the playoffs):
So yeah, things were pretty frustrating for Miami. Chris "Birdman" Andersen certainly felt it. And not only did he feel it, but he acted upon it, shoving Pacers forward Tyler Hansbrough to the floor.
Miami was never out of it, though, eventually pulling closer in the second quarter. They finished the half down four points, despite no one really clicking on offense. But in the third quarter, that would change.
Yes, leave it to LeBron to jump-start the Heat. What a surprise, right? Well, he did just that, outscoring the Pacers by himself in the third quarter.
Indiana also started flubbing up, taking bad shots, turning the ball over and struggling to defend Miami's offensive spacing. Frank Vogel had the most appropriate reaction.
Not even Hibbert's incredible block on Chris Bosh at the rim could give Indiana a boost to keep up with Miami.
Yes, in the end, it was just too much LeBron.
And too much Haslem.
But mostly just too much LeBron.
Which combined together, of course, equals...