The Indiana Pacers should be proud of nothing

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Indiana-Pacers

I’m sure every Indiana Pacers fan is thrilled that their team made it through to the 2nd round of the NBA playoffs with Saturday’s 92-80 win over the Atlanta Hawks. But neither the team’s players nor their fans should be very excited.

The Indiana Pacers were actually quite lucky to beat the 8th-seeded Hawks, having to come from behind late in Game 6 just to get to Saturday’s winner-take-all battle in Indianapolis. The Hawks led most of the way, and if not for their 9/35 (25.7%) effort from 3-point land, the series would have ended on Thursday.

The Hawks were even worse Saturday afternoon, making only 11/44 (25%) of their shots from behind the arc. Atlanta as a team hit 36.3% of their 3-point attempts during the regular season, and if they would have been close to that number in either of the last two games of this series, the Indiana Pacers would have become infamous for suffering the worst first-round defeat any NBA number one seed has ever seen.

roy-hibbert

The Pacers did have a couple of good things happen during Game 7- Paul George finally played like the superstar he is made out to be, scoring 30 points on 11/23 shooting while also grabbing 11 rebounds.

And more importantly, Roy Hibbert finally showed up- the big man played 30 minutes and scored 13 points to go along with seven rebounds and five blocked shots.

Hibbert set the tone for the team early in the game, scoring easy buckets in the paint and finally playing the kind of defense that has been the hallmark of his NBA career. The fact that he finally was able to be effective for the first time in the series might bode well for the Pacers going forward.

Indiana Pacers paul george

But now they have to turn right around and face the well-rested Washington Wizards, who quickly disposed of a depleted Chicago Bulls squad in five games in the first round. And unless the Indiana Pacers increase the quality of their play by quite a bit over what they showed against the Hawks, they will not even sniff a Game 7 at home against an up and coming Wizards squad.

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