The Indiana Pacers finally accomplished what they’d be hoping for for the past two seasons. They eliminated the Miami Heat.
It wasn’t how either team likely drew it up, but with the Pacers win over the Washington Wizards, the Heat’s chance at repeating at Eastern Conference champions is over.
It was a slim chance at best. After LeBron James left for Cleveland, things only got worse in Miami.
Josh McRoberts played in just 17 games this season after being signed as a guy that could help the Heat from falling off without LeBron. Luol Deng looked like a shell of his former self. The finishing touch on the Miami season was losing Chris Bosh to a blood clot on his lung.
The addition of Goran Dragic was perfect to catapult the Heat back up the Eastern Conference standings, but Bosh’s injury was what ultimately doomed Miami.
It’ll be hard to keep Pat Riley down for long, though. With a decision coming on Dragic, don’t expect the Heat to sit out the offseason and let this happen again. If there’s a window open with Dwyane Wade, it’s not very big at this point.
Riley and the Heat will have to maximize that window while preparing for life without Wade.