Before Chris Bosh’s injury, the Indiana Pacers were the consensus underdog in the series against the Miami Heat. Now with Bosh out, some are beginning to believe that the Pacers have a golden opportunity to knock off the Heat. And that group now includes the Pacers themselves.
As the second half wore on in game 2, you could see the confidence building in the Pacer bunch and once they held on for the win, the young Pacers couldn’t contain themselves. They celebrated like they had just won the NBA title.
Pacers veteran David West insisted that his young teammates’ “act like they’ve been there” to no avail. And West wasn’t the only one who thought that the Pacers’ celebration was a little much. Dwyane Wade did too.
“I heard they wanted to be like the Dallas Mavericks, in a sense,” Wade said about an apparent reference to Pacers coach Frank Vogel using last year’s Mavs team, which beat the Heat in Miami for the title, as motivation for Indiana. “I saw their little celebration at the end of (Game 2). I don’t know if they didn’t expect to win, but every night we go out on the court, we expect to win.”
“They say their identity, they say they want to be like Dallas,” Wade said. “So they celebrated like Dallas, I guess.”
Told what Wade said, Pacers guard Paul George said he didn’t see anything wrong with what his team did after the game.
“If that’s what he wants to fuel this loss, they should come out just the fact that we came here and took a win from them,” George told FOX Sports Florida. “But we won this like we weren’t surprised. We won it, and went right to the locker room.”
George said Wade was just looking for something to motivate the Heat.
“I think it’s an excuse,” George said. “We won this game fair and square. We walked off and went to the locker room and now we’re ready to get out of here. … It’s the same way when they won (Game 1). They celebrated, so we just did the same thing.”
This is a young Pacers bunch, so you can’t really fault them for celebrating. Game 2 was just an eye opener to them that they have a great opportunity here to get to the conference finals. That’s why they were jubilant after the game.
As for Dwyane Wade, he has more pressing issues to worry about than the Pacers celebrating.