It’s win or go home for four teams today in the NBA Playoffs. The Miami Heat and Charlotte Hornets square off in what looks to be a very intriguing Game 7 with a lot of story lines heading into the match up. In the other Game 7, the Pacers and Raptors square off in Toronto.
There are some things to watch heading into these match ups.
Can Miami Have Another Shooting Clinic?
Dwayne Wade had his best playoff performance so far on Friday night when he hit two clutch jumpers to seal the win for Miami and even got into it with a fan on the sidelines in Charlotte who seemed to be a little bitter about the whole performance that Wade was putting on.
When Miami loses in this series, they shoot a terrible 34% from three feet or more. In Game 6, they shot 44% from three feet or more and hit eight three pointers. That spells a recipe for success when you’re trying to win a Game 7.
Can Kemba Step Up?
With 37 points by Kemba in Game 6, it still was not enough for the Hornets to beat a hot Miami Heat team. Defense was an issue for Charlotte in that game, so look for them to seal that up a little bit going into Game 7. He needs to find ways to penetrate this Miami defense, because if he has a huge game for Charlotte, they have a great shot at moving on.
The Pressure Is On In Toronto
With the series on the line in the East, the Raptors are feeling the pressure of Game 7 as they have been bounced out of the playoffs in the first round in the past two seasons. Kyle Lowry and Demar Derozan have no more excuses as this team is too good to find themselves out of the playoffs. Derozan needs to prove why he can eventually be a star on his own team and Lowry can not succumb to the pressure of the Indiana defense. The people in Toronto are hungry for more playoff basketball, and the Raptors have a chance to give it to them.
Can the Pacers Bench Step Up?
In Game 5, the Pacers were -18 when Paul George sat on the bench, it showed as the Pacers lost that game by a close margin. You need bench help if you want to win in the playoffs. In Game 6, it proved to be better for the Pacers bench as the team was +5 when George sat. We know George can handle the playoffs, but its guys like Jordan Hill, and C.J. Miles who need to prove they can play quality minutes when George is resting. The bench play will be the biggest factor for Indiana.