Heat winning small ball

Miami outplays Indiana when they don't match size for size

Updated: May 28, 2014, 3:04 PM ET
By Tom Haberstroh | ESPN Insider

Chris BoshCharles Trainor Jr/Miami Herald/MCT via Getty ImagesGoing small, putting an emphasis on Chris Bosh's 3-point spacing, has been successful for the Heat.

If the first round of this postseason will be remembered for its nail-biting drama, the conference finals may be known for their mind-numbing plot twists.

In the West, Serge Ibaka was declared out for the postseason with a calf injury ahead of the series against the San Antonio Spurs. And then, out of the Oklahoma City blue, he came to the rescue in Game 3 and the Thunder have blown out the Spurs to tie up the series.

The Eastern Conference finals have had their fair share of theater as well (and not just the Lance Stephenson storyline). In Game 1, the Miami Heat looked as if their kryptonite was Roy Hibbert and the Indiana Pacers' monster front line. Then the defending champions proceeded to reel off three straight wins against the NBA's top defense, scoring at such a high rate that their offensive efficiency would rank No. 1 in NBA history if they held it for a full season.

So what happened? After years of Hibbert dominance, how did the Heat flip the script?

Rather than try to dust off Greg Oden and play up to the Pacers, they stayed small.