The Miami Heat lost Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals to the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday night. It was the first game for the Heat without Chris Bosh, out indefinitely after straining an abdominal muscle in the first game of the series.
Heat critics pointed to a trio of missed free throws by LeBron James. However, James and Dwyane Wade carried their team, outscoring the entire Pacers squad in the fourth quarter.
Surya Fernandez offered a similar take on the matter at Peninsula Is Mightier, SB Nation's Heat blog:
Critics will immediately jump on LeBron for missing 3 of 4 free throws in the closing minutes of the game, but in truth the Heat wouldn't have had a chance if it wasn't for what he and Wade did to keep the Heat close, who were trailing since the midway point of the third quarter. The team only mustered 14 points in the third quarter with a flat offense that featured little to no ball movement and zero creativity.
As for how the Heat can rebound on Thursday night in Indianapolis, Fernandez says:
... the Heat must figure out how to get more offensive support for Wade and James or they will suddenly be trailing in this series. For the most part tonight, the Heat's defense was good enough to have given them a chance to win the game, it's just that no one else besides the Big 2 could be counted on to hit a shot. Someone among the group that consists of Mario Chalmers, Norris Cole, Mike Miller, Udonis Haslem and Battier must hit double-figures or this series will get even uglier than it already is.
For more news, analysis, and discussion on the Heat, visit Peninsula Is Mightier and andSB Nation Tampa Bay. For the opponent's perspective throughout the series, check out Indy Cornrows and SB Nation Indiana. And for all your news and notes on the playoffs matchups, visit SB Nation's dedicated NBA hub.