clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

LeBron and the Heat to make adjustments into Game 6

New, comments

The Heat are treating Game 6 like their Game 7 and ready to end the series and move into the NBA Finals. What adjustments will they make for the game?

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Every game, something new changes the course of the outcome. Erik Spoelstra has already inserted Rashard Lewis into the starting lineup, played Norris Cole more than Mario Chalmers, and brought a full court press on the Pacers' guards. But what needs to change to make Game 6 different than Game 5?

First thing is first, LeBron James needs to play more than 23 minutes. Obviously, this wasn't Spoelstra's fault, as he was just reacting to the game. This adjustment needs to come from LeBron. Even though some of the fouls were questionable, LeBron needs to be a little more selective when he is in foul trouble. Odds are that foul trouble won't even be an issue for LeBron in Game 6.

Secondly, the Heat need to get back to the free throw line. The Pacers won the foul advantage and FT advantage in Game 5. As Miami shot only 8 free throws -- that's the fewest by any playoff team since 2006. That is coming off the Heat shooting over 30 FTA in Game 4. Miami needs to get the Pacers in positions to foul, and take advantage of that.

"We're going to go back home, learn from our mistakes tomorrow and come back Friday (for Game 6)." -LeBron James

The Heat need to take better care of the ball. In Game 5, Miami had several turnovers that led to open court scores for the Pacers, the exact thing the Pacers were trying to avoid from Miami. Norris Cole lost the ball dribbling between his legs one play that lead to Paul George with an open dunk. George also got into the passing lanes a couple times. These are the types of plays the Heat have to avoid because the Pacers already have a hard time scoring, they can't gift them any points in the open court.

Game 6 should see the return of Chris Andersen which will help the Heat close the gap on the boards, and provide a big body to set screens, he was missed in Game 5. It looks like Chris Bosh is out of his slump offensively, but the Heat need to do a better job of not allowing Roy Hibbert to be a factor. I will continue to say the best way to stop Hibbert is to not allow him to get the ball in his comfort zone. Haslem is good at that, but Bosh is not.

"You can't have a better night in Miami for basketball, it's Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals. I know that environment is going to be amazing." -- Dwyane Wade

All in all, the Heat don't have too much to worry about. They were the victim of some questionable officiating in Game 5, only saw LeBron James play 23 minutes and score 7 points (both playoff career lows), and they still had a chance to win the game, even with Paul George scoring 21 fourth quarter points on 8-10 shooting.

Game 6 is Friday night in Miami, 8:30 PM EST on ESPN.