Last night the Pacers put together their best playoff performance in many moons to level the series at 2-2. I'll save larger thoughts for tomorrow's gamer, but below is a link roundup of things I found interesting.


The difference between the Pacers and the Knicks in Game 4 was simple: the Pacers made their shots and the Knicks didn't. I posted something recently about how many wide open threes the Pacers have generated during the playoffs (it was something like 100 more than the next best team) so it was only a matter of time until they had a game where everything went in. Defense, however, has been a thorn in the team's side since Dan Burke left.

The Pacers have made some adjustments over the course of the series on that side of the ball and they appear to be paying off. First, Aaron "Double A" Nesmith is now the primary defender on Brunson and living up to his Energizer Bunny nickname. The Pacers are also sending help later rather than at half court, slowing down the Knicks attack and giving them less time to take advantage of defensive rotations.

Stamina: Real or Myth?

If you ask Tom Thibodeau, it's the latter. I'm cautious not to say that just because the Knicks looked tired last game, they'll look tired over the next 2-3. But pace and endurance have been talking points since this matchup was announced. Whether the Knicks are indeed wearing down is something to keep an eye on.

Free Throws

Obviously a lot has been said about the refs in this series (rightfully so). Still, if you go on Twitter, it's basically just both fanbases crying about getting mistreated. I won't add another opinion to the chorus but I will state a fact: the Pacers are not drawing nearly enough fouls.

The five starters took ZERO – I repeat ZERO – free throws in Game 4. That's OK when you're shooting the lights out, but that is not sustainable. They have to do a better job of embracing physicality because the intensity over the next few games is about to go to another level.

Taking Care of the Ball

Pritchard wrote a book called Help the Helper. It's all about teamwork and making life easier for those around you. It should be no surprise, then, that his front office has prioritized players who make plays for others. Unsurprisingly, the strategy is paying off.

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