Heat Reaction: Grading Pacers-Heat, Gm. 6
Fresh legs, fresh kill. After playing a career-low 24 minutes in Game 5, LeBron James made every minute count in Game 6 to earn yet another trip to the NBA Finals. LeBron put up with more of Lance Stephenson's antics and let his game do the talking. He attacked the basket like never before against the Pacers. On to the next one.
What was there left to do? With LeBron and Chris Bosh dominating their matchups, Wade could coast offensively and focus all his efforts on slowing down Paul George. After he guarded George tightly to no avail in Game 5, the results started falling Wade's way in Game 6. Wade earned some quiet games after leading the way earlier in the series.
Remember when he couldn't score in double digits against the Pacers? He doesn't, either. Bosh has looked like a completely different player after he hit those 3s to kick off Game 3. His 3-point spacing pulled Roy Hibbert out from the paint and decongested the pathway to the rim. Considering the stakes, this was Bosh's finest performance this postseason.
Raise your hand if you saw Rashard Lewis becoming the Heat's fourth-best player for most of the Eastern Conference finals? Liar. Whether it was his defense on David West or his big 3-point shooting, Lewis was the perhaps the biggest surprise of the series. The Heat's aging depth was supposed to be their Achilles' heel, but the supporting cast completely outplayed the Pacers' role players.
Embarrassing effort to cap a bizarre season. Paul George scored 28 points in the second half, but the rest of the Pacers had already waved the white flag long before then. After whacking Norris Cole in the face on a loose ball and picking up a flagrant, Lance Stephenson went scoreless the rest of the game. Sums up the Indiana Pacers' season. Larry Bird could only watch seven rows behind the Pacers' bench. Will changes be coming?