Locked in 1-1 tie, Heat look to regain control

Mike Ehrmann

The Heat should begin to start hitting 3-point shots eventually. But what else does Miami have to do tonight to win Game 3?

The Indiana Pacers find themselves in the same position they were in when they faced the Miami Heat during last year's playoffs -- having stolen Game 2 on the road. Miami now has to win at least one game in Indianapolis to advance to the NBA Finals for the third consecutive season. The Heat's first chance will present itself tonight at 8:30 on TNT.

As of this morning, the NBA has not made any announcement regarding possible discipline for Dwyane Wade's elbow to Lance Stephenson's head or David West's elbow to Mario Chalmers' shoulder. It's thus safe to assume that both players will be able to suit up for their respective clubs tonight. Even if the league does not force Erik Spoelstra to make any changes to his rotation, perhaps it would be wise for him to try some tweaks. Spoelstra called up Mike Miller for a three-minute stint in Game 2, and he made one more 3-pointer than Shane Battier, Ray Allen and Mario Chalmers made all night.

The law of large numbers says that Miami's 3-pointers will eventually start to fall, though. The Palm Beach Post's Ethan J. Skolnick pointed out that the Heat shot an abysmal 11.9 percent from 3-point land in Games 1 - 3 of last spring's series against the Pacers and 43.7 percent the rest of the way. Battier and Allen are bound to start hitting 3s at some point. One has to wonder if Spoelstra will return to the starting lineup that he used during last year's championship run and substitute Battier for Udonis Haslem. Haslem is a non-factor offensively, and putting in Battier would provide more spacing at the start of games. For the first two games of this series, Miami has not had a vital part to its offense working well -- 3-point shooting.

Aside from 3-point shooting, Miami can't afford Roy Hibbert to have another 29-point, 10-rebound night. Hibbert bailed out several Indiana possessions with his six offensive rebounds that allowed him to feast on second-chance opportunities. Chris Bosh and Wade both need to take on more pronounced roles in Miami's offense and get to the foul line. Indiana's bench is very weak, so sending a starter or two to the bench for extended stretches will help Miami.

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