The Heat were tied with the Pacers 1-1 after two games in Miami (and should be down 0-2, they said). The supporting cast was awful. Dwyane Wade was banged up and inconsistent. And Indiana was standing up to — and running over — the defending NBA champs.
The Eastern Conference finals were more than a speed bump; they looked like they had become a full-blown roadblock for LeBron & Co. Then the series headed to Indianapolis on Sunday, and the Heat responded with one of the greatest playoff games. Ever. By any team.
Don’t believe us? Look at the numbers, starting with that supporting cast:
40 — Combined points by Chris "Birdman" Andersen, Mario Chalmers and Udonis Haslem.
84 — Shooting percentage of Andersen, Chalmers and Haslem, who went 16 of 19 from the field.
88.9 — Shooting percentage by Haslem (on 8-of-9 shooting), a Miami Heat franchise playoff record.
Need more proof? Just look at one of our favorite follows had to say, as only he can:
But it gets a lot more eye-popping than that:
70 — Points in the first half by the Heat, another franchise playoff record.
70 — The most points given up by the Pacers by halftime this season.
70 — The most points scored in the first half of a playoff game since the 2007 Warriors.
70 — The most points given up by the Pacers in the first half of a playoff game since the Celtics dropped 71 on them in 1992.
5 — Total turnovers by the Heat in Game 3 (tying a franchise playoff record).
62.8 / 60 / 92.9 — The Heat’s field-goal, 3-point and free-throw percentages in the first half.
5 — Heat starters in double figures by the end of the third quarter.
35:29 — Minutes played by Wade, during which time he scored 18 points on 8-of-14 shooting, including this eye-opener:
And some other numbers that make you go hmmmm:
0-3 — The Pacers’ all-time record in conference finals games played on the same day as the Indianapolis 500.
R2-D2 — OK, that has nothing to do with on-the-court play, but the Heat even have the famous droid’s attention.
So let’s look at how dominant the Heat have been in these playoffs:
85.4 — Andersen’s shooting percentage in the playoffs.
5 — Consecutive road playoff victories by double digits for the Heat, an NBA single-postseason record. (Note: The last team to win four straight such games are the 1999 Cavaliers, led by LeBron James. The last team before the Cavaliers? The 1999 Spurs, featuring Tim Duncan, a franchise which is one win away from making it to these NBA Finals.)
As for what it all means going forward?
27 — The number of games the Heat won in a row after their last game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
60 — The number of days (as of Sunday) since the Heat last lost a road game. They hold home court throughout the playoffs and, if you are lucky enough to win in South Beach, chances are, they’re getting it right back.
136 — The number of days (as of Sunday) since the Heat last lost consecutive games. Yeah, good luck with that one.
10,000/1 — The odds at least one guy is giving the Pacers of pulling this off.
So the #Heat have won 47 of 51, and the #Pacers are suppose to win 3 of the next 4? What should their true odds be in Vegas? 10,000/1?