1) It is SATURDAY, MAY 17. Quick tip for the homeless: Panhandling with a cardboard sign in one hand and a cigarette in the other is bad for business. 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Indiana advances to meet Miami, candidates to replace Van Gundy on Le Batard, Pacers-or-Wizards poll, Dolphins '15 draft, Jameis surveillance video, heroic cat saves boy from dog attack & more. 3) Join us on Twitter @gregcote.
HEAT-PACERS. IT'S WHAT WE'VE EXPECTED ALL SEASON. YOUR SERIES PREDICTION GOES HERE: There was an inevitability to this, right? Even when the Pacers were struggling. Even when Roy Hibbert had gone invisible, which is tough for a guy 7-2. You still knew it would be Heat-Pacers in the Eastern Conference finals for a shot at the championshup round. For Miami the postseason intensity has been escalating -- as it should. The first-round sweep over Charlotte was perfunctory and dull. The last round vs. Brooklyn was 4-1 but contentious, flavored by old rivals Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett in different colors. Now? Now it really gets good. How hungry are the Pacers? Two years ago Miami ousted Indiana in the semifinals in 6 games, after the Pacers led 2-1 and were home. Last year Miami ousted Indy in the conference finals in 7 games. But the rematch -- commencing Sunday at 3:30 p.m. in Indianapolis -- finds the Pacers with home-court advantage. Despite that Miami should be the series favorite, despite the home-court thing and despite the perception Hibbert is a particuylar nightmare for LeBron James. To the latter point I might note that James led Miami in scoring all seven games in last year's ECF, averaging 29 points. (If that's struggling, struggle on!) Anyway, enough of me. Your turn. We do this before every series. How will Heat vs. Pacers series turn out? Not what you want to happen, but what you honestly think will. Vote and say why.
Poll result: You were torn on Pacers-or-Wizards: We asked and it was 50.7 percent favoring Washington as the next Heat opponent and 49.3% saying Indiana. However, the margin for the Wizards was running in the 56% range -- you preferring the easier series to the more exciting one -- before votes for the Pacers surged as Indiana won last night.
A SONG WITH INDIANA IN THE TITLE (BUT NOT THAT ONE): Indiana has not inspired many memorable songs. The biggest was "Indiana Wants Me," which made a one-hit-wonder of one R. Dean Taylor in 1970. ("Indiana wants me, Lord I can't go back there...") But that's too obvious. So I'm sharing with you instead the somewhat funkier "Goin' Back to Indiana," with Michael Jackson rockin' the 'fro with The Jackson 5:
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