RECAP: Pacers 101, Hawks 85

Bo Churney —  April 23, 2014

Series is tied, 1-1

IND(1-1) 101 – 85 (1-1) ATL   

Key Performers:
P. Millsap (ATL): 19 pts, 4 reb
P. George (IND): 27 pts, 10 reb, 6 ast, 4 stl

That was about the worst-case scenario for the Atlanta Hawks, injury-free category. Jeff Teague and Paul Millsap were balling again in the first half, again putting the Pacers on their heels by holding the lead after both of the first two quarters. However, that all changed in the third quarter as Paul George and Indiana finally gave a glimpse of the team that we saw in the first half of the season. George’s buzzer-beating 30-foot 3-pointer at the end of the third quarter was a symbolic nail in the coffin for the Hawks, giving the Pacers a 14-point cushion heading into the fourth quarter.

Why was this the worst case scenario? It isn’t just the Pacers winning this game; it’s the way they did it. The Hawks had the lead for half of the game. To allow the Pacers to storm back and rout them could prove to be critical as the series shifts to the ATL.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Jeff Teague: Take note, Jeff Teague: the best defensive team in the league figured that its best strategy for limiting the Hawks was to stick one of the best perimeter defenders in the game in your path. Take that as a huge compliment. How did Teague respond? In the first half — and the first quarter in particular — Teague did exactly as he did in Game 1. He let his teammates open up lanes with their spacing, then he broke down the defense by getting into the lane. In the second half, Teague had less success, going 1-for-5 from the field as Indiana’s defensive unit clamped down and the Hawks started to miss their open shots. Overall, I still think Teague played well. 8/10

Paul Millsap: Like Teague, Millsap continued his great work from Game 1 into the first half of this game. He hit two 3-pointers, he had a couple of great takes to the basket, and he was getting to the line, all three of which are things that he is going to need to do for the Hawks to win this season. Unfortunately, also like Teague, Millsap could not get the mojo going in the second half, resulting in the Hawks losing the third quarter 31-13. 7.5/10

Kyle Korver: Korver went 1-for-5 in this game, which is something that the Hawks absolutely cannot afford for him to do. The Pacers did a good job as a whole of keeping Korver from getting open, so when Korver actually is able to get free, he’s got to connect. Hopefully the 1-for-5 night (and 3-for-12 start from 3 so far this postseason) proves to be an aberration. 5/10

DeMarre Carroll: With Paul George guarding Teague for most of the game, I thought DeMarre might be able to take advantage of having a combination of Lance Stephenson and George Hill on him. He and the team really couldn’t take advantage of this, however, and at least two of his five shot attempts on the night were extremely forced. I would be interested to see if the Hawks are able to adjust and try to open up for cutting space for DeMarre in Game 3. 9/10

Pero Antic: With how many open looks Pero is likely to get in this series, they are going to need him to do better than 2-for-9 from the floor and 1-for-5 from 3. He did good defensively, but this series quite literally depends on Pero’s ability to stretch the floor. 5/10

Shelvin Mack: NOT a good night for Shelvin at all. He was 1-for-5 from the field (that 1-for-5 number seems to be popping up a lot…) and had a couple of shots that were extremely questionable. For example, near the end of the third quarter with the Pacers up 9, Elton Brand grabbed an offensive rebound and kicked it out to Shelvin. Without hesitation, Shelvin put up a somewhat contested look, which missed. The Pacers turned the ball over on the next possession, but this seemed like a really crucial possession that was lost. Getting a score on that possession really could have helped the Hawks keep the deficit under 10 at the end of the third quarter, which could have greatly affected the outcome of the game. 4/10

Elton Brand: Elton had two other offensive rebounds to go with the one outlined above. What was the difference between these two compared to the others? These two were converted into Atlanta points. Outside of this, I thought Elton played an average game; he got a lot of time while the Hawks were getting blown out, so I really don’t think many of his contributions had an effect on the game’s outcome. 7/10

Lou Williams: In the first half, it appeared that Lou was going to be the guy that would be the X-factor in a Hawks win, scoring nine critical points in the half. After that, he was… you guessed it, 1-for-5 from the field. 6/10

Mike Scott: Scott did have 11 points on 4-for-9 shooting, but he was also the guy guarding Luis Scola when Scola went off in the second quarter. It’s 2014, so it’s not exactly an acceptable thing to be the main guy that gave up 20 points to Luis Scola anymore. 4/10

Cartier, Muscala, and Schröder: They did most of their work in garbage time when the Hawks were down by more then 20. Credit to them for cutting into the lead, but in the grand scheme of things, they didn’t do anything. INC

Coach Budenholzer: I thought that the Hawks would win after the team’s all-reserve lineup was able to keep even with the Pacers during a stretch in the second quarter. However, the Pacers’ starters came out with a renewed effort in the third quarter, defeating any lineup combination the Hawks could have thrown on the court. It also appears that Budenholzer somewhat punted late in this game by not starting Teague at the start of the fourth quarter when the Pacers had a 14 point lead. Obviously teams get at least a day off between each game in the playoffs, but it will be interesting to see if Teague only playing 28 minutes and Paul George playing 39 will be any advantage for the Hawks in the later games of this series. 6/10

The opposition: Could this be the proverbial shot in the arm for the Pacers? All of the parts were moving properly on offense in the third quarter, which is a stark contrast to Game 1’s “stand there and expect things to happen” scheme. Grade is an incomplete to see if the second half was a reawakening or just a fluke. INC/10


Next: Game 3 vs Indiana, Thursday, April 24th at 7:00 PM EDT

Bo Churney

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2 responses to RECAP: Pacers 101, Hawks 85

  1. Coach bud needs to go from his assistant coach mind to his head coach mind. He is doing way to much minute management in the playofds. You should never be running 5 bench players at one time in the playoffs. Especially a bench as weak as ours. Teague and Milsap should be playing around 40 minutes a game. With lou and elton being the only bench players getting significant minutes. Dont need shelving and scott playing 20 min.