Can’t Miss TV: Heat-Pacers Game 7
In case you’ve been living in a cave for the past couple weeks, the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers have been locked in a fierce battle for the right to represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals. The climatic conclusion is tonight in Miami, and this clash of the titans seems worthy of being the first entry in our Can’t Miss TV series. Tune in to TNT tonight at 8:30 to witness the following subplots and more.
What to Watch For
LeBron James vs. Paul George
Sports fans are familiar with the man known as King James, but 23 year old wunderkind Paul George has seen his stock soar as these playoffs have worn on. By virtue of his vicious dunks, lockdown defense, and healthy shooting range, George has catapulted himself into the league’s elite almost overnight. James himself acknowledged this leap by embracing George at mid-court earlier in the series. The young star and the reigning MVP will be matched up a lot tonight, and the man who prevails will likely lead his team to victory.
The long arms of Roy Hibbert
Once an awkward collection of limbs who struggled to stay out of foul trouble, the 7’2″ Hibbert has evolved into a dominant rim protector who is changing the trajectory of this series. Miami’s drive and kick offense has stagnated due to Hibbert’s massive frame steering the Heat’s stars away from the painted area, turning them into a jump-shooting team. Hibbert garnered negative headlines over the past few days for his use of an anti-gay slur, but the Georgetown product’s defense has been one of the defining stories of the playoffs.
Who will rise to the occasion?
Game 7’s are the ultimate sports pressure cooker. With the win-or-go-home mandate on the table, one of tonight’s combatants will be sent to the golf course after tonight’s contest concludes. The added pressure always brings out the true colors of the contestants, and tonight’s game will be no different. It will be a test of character as much as it is a test of talent, and the mentally strong will be apparent when the spotlights shine down on the hardwood. This series has seen momentum swing back and forth with each passing game, so it will be interesting to see who can grab the reigns tonight.
In a series as tightly contested as this one, predicting a victor is a difficult exercise. When all else fails, the pick goes to the team with the best player. As good as Paul George has been for Indiana, the league’s transcendent talent still wears a Heat uniform. LeBron James will get more help from his inexplicably cold supporting cast, and propel his team to another NBA Finals appearance. Heat win by 6.
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