Well, that escalated quickly. The Heat could have been happy with a dominant and decisive win where the other team lost arguably their best two players via injury. But apparently they just don't like the Pacers very much. You see, apparently Danny Granger likes to talk trash to LeBron and Wade (oh no!) and Lance Stephenson made a choking sign at LeBron in a Pacers victory.
So when Wade was fouled flagrantly by Hansbrough, Haslem took it upon himself to flagrantly foul Hansbrough. You can debate the merits of such an action or the severity of the hits and the old school codes and all that. But most would assume that would just about do it.
Not so much.
This was supposed to have been the night when the Heat deflected all the hatred for them onto somebody else. They played with a fury Tuesday night, unleashed their disdain for the Indiana Pacers in so many breathtaking ways -- basketball ways -- that they were finally becoming the open-floor force they were destined to be. But Miami's full-throttle 115-83 evisceration of the Pacers in Game 5, giving them a 3-2 lead in the conference semifinals, was marred by three flagrant fouls. Well, two flagrant fouls and one felonious assault, the latter of which was perpetrated by a benchwarmer-turned-goon named Dexter Pittman.
The goon hit mentioned can be seen here. It kinda speaks for itself.
Back to the game, I'm going to have to clip and save this for later.
The Pacers just weren't crisp enough to figure out Miami's aggressive defense. It's a defense that leaves gaps as Miami players trap and scoot around the court, but the Heat close those gaps more quickly than any other team. To beat Miami, an opponent has to make quick and accurate reads, throw precise passes and make a fair number shots. Waiting a beat can be fatal, and Indiana was caught too often waiting that extra beat.
Yep, that's Larry. No excuses.