NBA Playoffs and 2012 Championship Odds: Heat visit Pacers for Game 4
Sunday, May 20, 2012
by Bovada Sportsbook
It’s fair to say it’s panic time for the Miami Heat as the former NBA title favorites have dropped back-to-back games in the Eastern Conference semifinals to the Indiana Pacers since All-Star Chris Bosh went down with an injury.
Sunday afternoon’s game at Indiana is thus for all intents and purposes a must-win for Miami and it is a 2-point betting favorite on Bovada Sportsbook’s NBA Las Vegas Odds. There will be live play-by-play betting available.
The story of Miami’s shocking 94-75 Game 3 loss was the ineffectiveness of Dwyane Wade, who was scoreless in the first half – first time in his playoff career – and finished with just five points on 2-for-13 shooting while turning the ball over five times. Wade also got into a confrontation with coach Erik Spoelstra during a third-quarter timeout as the Pacers were putting the game away.
Reports are that Wade is playing through injuries that caused him to miss several games during the season – Miami was 14-3 this year without Wade but not having Bosh as well is apparently too much to overcome. Even LeBron James struggled in Game 3 with 22 points but only six after halftime when Indiana outscored Miami 51-32. LeBron has mostly played power forward the past two games and admits its taxing on his body because he has to rebound more and guard bigger players.
Mario Chalmers actually led the Heat in Game 3 with 25 points. He injured his wrist but will play Sunday. But he’s the only player other than LeBron and Wade doing much. For example, Shane Battier and Dexter Pittman moved into the starting lineup in Game 3 and were scoreless, shooting 0-for-9 from the field. And top reserves Mike Miller and Udonis Haslem combined for only six points.
The Heat shot 37.2 percent from the field for the second game in a row and are 5-for-42 from 3-pont range in the series. Miami was outrebounded 52-36 in Game 3 and Pacers center Roy Hibbert completely dominated the paint with 19 points, 18 rebound and five blocks. George Hill had 20 points and Danny Granger contributed 17. The Pacers have won their past three home playoff games by a combined 52 points.
Miami has dropped to 10/3 on Bovada to win the 2012 NBA championship, now behind San Antonio (7/4) and Oklahoma City (2/1). The Heat remain Eastern Conference favorites at 5/4 but Boston is now right behind at 2/1. Indiana has jumped to 3/1.
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