Series tied, 2-2
P. Millsap (ATL): 29 pts, 7 reb, 3 blk
P. George (IND): 24 Pts, 10 Reb, 5 Ast, 2 Blk
[FULL BOX SCORE]
A win today would have been gigantic for the Hawks. Going up 3-1, winning both games at home, and sending Indiana back home in an even bigger mental mess than they’re already in would have given Atlanta a lot of momentum going into Game 5. However, that wasn’t the case.
The Pacers they played a lot more like themselves. The body language issues that appeared to be plaguing them the entire series were for the most part non existent. The defense returned to form, minus a poor performance in the 2nd quarter, and of course, since they were playing an Atlanta sports team, something that made no sense had to happen. That something was a David West clutch three pointer. Then just as the Hawks thought they had hope with a chance to tie the game at the end, they couldn’t convert. The Pacers missed free throws to ice the game, giving the Hawks one last shot. The Pacers played excellent defense, blew up any semblance of a play, and left the Hawks with a Pero Antic contested 3 that didn’t go in.
Despite the Hawks loss, this series is far from over. The Hawks showed in Game 1 they can win in Indiana. Game 5 is a huge game however. With today’s win, the Pacers have won 3 games in Atlanta since 2006. Winning game 5 would give the Hawks an advantage and put history on their side. Should they lose however, they have to win two straight games. Something they haven’t shown the ability to do.
Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]
Jeff Teague: While Teague never had any consistency scoring, shooting 5-for-15 for 14 points, he more than made up for it in the rest of his game. 7 assists, 6 rebounds and a solid defensive effort. However, he did have 4 turnovers. Not his best game in the world but very far from bad as there were moments he looked completely unstoppable. 7/10
Paul Millsap: Millsap was a monster. 10-for-18 from the field for 29 points, 7 rebounds, and he even swatted himself 3 blocks. Millsap again stretched the floor for the Hawks in a big way hitting three of his six three point attempts. When Millsap wasn’t stretching the floor he was dominating everywhere else. Post ups, face ups, spot ups, pull ups, isolations it didn’t matter. Millsap was scoring. On defense he made Roy Hibbert, Ian Mahinimi, and David West’s lives a living hell constantly harassing them. Millsap was the main reason the Hawks had a chance to win at the end. 10/10
Kyle Korver: Good news and bad news. Good news, Korver was able to let it loose from long range and find shots that he wanted to take. Bad news, while Korver let it fly from deep with eight attempts, he only managed to make three of them. He did however play some decent defense and pull down 9 rebounds. 7/10
DeMarre Carroll: Carroll on offense was not pretty. Was almost a non factor. On defense he shined. It would be easy to look at Paul George’s stat line and blame Carroll for that but he contested a lot of shots. Also got to give Carroll some iron man props. He played 40 minutes, more than any other player besides Paul George. Still, it’s very difficult to look past how ineffective Carroll was on offense. 6/10
Pero Antic: I’m not sure if the Pacers are starting to figure Antic out but he had a dreadful game. Defense was alright but other than he contributed nothing. 1/10
Lou Williams: For a guy that had 4 steals, Williams went unnoticed for most of the game. He would make a play here and there but really easy to miss. Did not play well at all. 4/10
Elton Brand: Brand played 8 min where he attempted 1 shot, 1 rebound and had 1 assist. INC/10
Mike Scott: Mike Scott was designated gunner, shooting 4-for-15 in 26 minutes. He made one triple and had a few rebounds. Pacers did seem to respect him however as Scott got a decent amount of defensive attention so I’m going to upgrade him for taking pressure off his teammates just by being on the court. 5/10
Shelvin Mack: Mack stays being the ultimate backup point guard. No turnovers, a couple highlight passes, and he shot 50% from the field on six shots. 7 points, 4 assists, 3 rebounds, all in 14 min is pretty good. 7/10
Coach Budenholzer: I’ve been trying to figure out since the game ended if Bud drew up a bad play to end the game or if the Pacers defense just snuffed whatever play he had drawn. I have no major complaints about him otherwise. 7/10
The opposition: The Pacers looked a lot more like themselves tonight. The offense wasn’t a train wreck and the body language issues everybody has noted didn’t appear to be there. Paul George had one of those games that make people think he’s a future top player in this league and David West was his usual game changing self. The defense is what was really key. Outside of one quarter they kept everybody except Paul Millsap from having good games scoring wise. If the Pacers turn back into the team that got the 1 seed in the east, this game will probably be seen as when they turned it all around. 8/10
Next: Game 5 at Indiana, Saturday, April 28th at 8:00 PM EDT