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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Friday, May 24, 2013 at 7:00 AM

You never want to overreact to the first game in an NBA Playoff series. We’ve all seen time and time again that the first game is often a red herring in terms of what’s to come. There’s no better example that than Miami’s Game One loss to Chicago in the last round. That being said…

*Indiana does match up well with the Heat

*Indiana isn’t afraid of the Heat

*Indiana led much of Game One, and just missed the outright win

*Indiana learned from last year’s playoff loss to the Heat

*Indiana already has LeBron James worried about the refs way too much!

There were so many extremes in the Wednesday Night boxscore that you could make all sorts of assertions about what’s ahead.

*Indiana point guard George Hill was only 2 of 9 shooting, and turned the ball over 3 times. He scored less than Miami’s Mario Chalmers in twice the playing time.

*Indiana’s “new kid on the blog” Lance Stephenson was 2 of 10 shooting, and turned the ball over 4 times. Some pundits isolated Stephenson as the “key” player in the series (though, there are so many pundits jabbering these days that EVERY player was picked as the key by somebody).

What’s going to happen if those guys play better? Indiana just missed winning outright even though the other team enjoyed home court advantage. That right there suggests the Pacers were the better team on the night. They still have room to improve!

Of course, Miami can say the same thing.

*Ray Allen was useless, shooting 1 of 8 from the floor in his 22 minutes. He’s not going to clank all of his jumpers that often the rest of the way.

*Miami was 3 of 16 on treys outside of the 2 of 2 performance from Chalmers. The Heat are more likely to make a run at 7 or 8 makes every game. And, if Indiana tries so stop that from happening, it just opens up the middle of the floor. We saw some of that already, as Miami shot 53% on two-point attempts Wednesday.

Both teams have upside. Both teams need to fix turnover issues (20 apiece Wednesday). Both teams have a bully mentality that creates explosive possibilities in terms of officiating randomness (what if a key player gets tossed out by one of the egomaniac refs?!).

JIM HURLEY is ready for the challenges that this series presents. It’s a tough task…because you have to make a best assessment for what’s going to happen on the floor amidst volatile potential…and THEN you have to see how your assessment lines up with what the Vegas oddsmakers are thinking. The good news is that oddsmakers are famous for playoff misreads. It happens every year. It certainly happened with Miami being such a pricey favorite in this series opener. Are they too pricey in Game Two? Don’t forget that Indiana WON Game Two in this series on the road last year.

 

GAME TWO

INDIANA at MIAMI

Vegas Line: Miami by 7, total of 180.5

Miami Leads 1-0

You can see that the market has come down some. Is that enough of an adjustment? The total has dropped a smidge as well, even though regulation scoring landed on 184 (92-all) in the 103-102 Wednesday final. NETWORK’S computer simulations have shown some very interesting readings on how this quick rematch is most likely to play out in a way that is likely to influence both of those propositions.

The final word on the side or total (or both) can be purchased Friday afternoon right here at the website with your credit card. Be sure to check on a very busy MLB card as well, with every game scheduled under the lights. If you have any questions about NETWORK service, call us in the office at 1-800-323-4453.

Back with you Saturday to preview Game Three of the San Antonio Spurs/Memphis Grizzlies series. Then we’ll have daily hoops for the next several days as each series plays every-other-day through the week. We’ll preview Game Three of Miami/Indiana in Sunday’s edition…Game Four of Spurs/Griz on Memorial Day, etc…

Get game outlines, series outlines, and handicapping tips in the NOTEBOOK. Then, link up with JIM HURLEY’S NETWORK every day for BIG, JUICY WINNERS!

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