NBA Eastern Conference First Round Playoffs
August 24: Indiana Pacers versus Miami Heat – Game 4
The two teams finished the regular season with nearly identical records; however, the Heat have had the best of the series, winning three of four in the regular season.
Similarly, they have won the first three in the playoffs by an average margin of ten points.
Not surprisingly, the Heat are heavy favorites, by 8 points in this one with an over/under of 216 ½.
Miami has been led by the duo of Jimmy Butler and Goran Dragic, who are averaging a combined 47 points per game.
Tyler Herro has been a solid third option, dropping nearly 17 per game in this series, while Duncan Robinson (15 points) and Ben Adebayo (15 points, 8.7 rebounds) have provided key production at various times in the series.
The Pacers top overall player in the series has been Malcom Brogdan, who is averaging a double-double at 24 points and 11 assists per game. T.J. Warren is adding nearly 20 points and seven rebounds.
Victor Oladipo, who only played 19 games during the regular season, is adding 15 points, while Myles Turned has also contributed a double-double at 14 points and 10 rebounds per game.
Comparing the two teams statistically during the regular season, the Heat have a 112 to 109.4 point per game edge, while the Pacers were a little better defensively, allowing 107.5 compared to 109.1 points per game.
Indiana is one of the better teams in the league at taking care of the ball, and the Heat had the edge in both three-point shooting percentage (37.9 to 36.3) and in rebounding.
On paper this series should be close, but the Heat cause matchup problem for the Pacers and clearly have their number. No team wants to get swept, so expect the Pacers to come out with a lot of emotion.
However, should the Heat pull away, look for the Pacers to fold. I expect that to happen late in the game. Take the over in a game the Pacers could cover, but the Heat will win to end the series.