Heat Notes: Spoelstra, Hibbert, Wade

There's more on the line for the Heat today than simply evening the series or falling 3-1 to the Pacers. For LeBron James and friends, a victory would serve to erase much of the doubt surrounding the star-crossed franchise while a loss would further fuel speculation of a break-up upon the season's completion. Let's check up on the latest Miami news and headlines before this afternoon's action gets underway.

  • CBSSports.com's Ben Golliver says the Heat would be taking two giant steps backward if they can't advance past the conference semifinals with the blame falling squarely on Erik Spoelstra's shoulders. One of the many issues surrounding the team is their inability to make a shot unless their name is LeBron. Look for Spoelstra to come up with a different starting lineup with hopes of shaking things up in the Heat's favor against the Pacers.
  • Roy Hibbert's emergence as a dominating presence in the playoffs has been a major reason why the Pacers have excelled aside from taking advantage of Chris Bosh's absence, writes Peter Vecsey of the New York Post. The former Georgetown star has 44 points, 40 rebounds and nine blocks through three games against the Heat. With his strong performance during the playoffs coming on the heels of a breakout regular season, the restricted free agent should expect a long-term contract this offseason. 
  • Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel believes it would be unfair to place a Heat collapse on Dwyane Wade even with his struggles as the team has collectively failed to make adjustments throughout the series. It's not too late for the Heat, but the team needs to right the ship on Sunday afternoon if they want to have any semblance of a chance to win the series. If the Heat lose the series to the Pacers, look for a long summer ahead in which all options sans moving James are on the table.

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