"Late-game miscues." What a polite way to describe what cost the Pacers an invaluable road win in the ECF opener. I can think of a few other ways to describe what happened: the Pacers shot themselves in the foot, screwed the pooch, and shit the bed all at once.

Have I caused offense? I apologize, but I assure you I'm not the only one resorting to profanity in my assessment of Game 1.

Tyrese can take the blame, certainly he deserves some, but there's plenty to go around. Carlisle owned his failure to call a timeout to advance the ball on the final inbound. Nembhard deserves to be chided for throwing a bad pass. Siakam deserves a few askew glances for touching the ball while it was out of bounds.

It's a bit ironic that turnovers killed the Pacers when they've been absolutely stellar at taking care of the ball so far in the playoffs.

So where do the Pacers go from here? Do they capitalize on the success they had in Game 1 or do they succumb to pressure of having missed a golden opportunity?

Indy's pace appears to be a significant advantage in this series. Where the Knicks were young and energetic but beat-up, the Celtics simply don't want to run that hard. If the Pacers are going to win four games, it seems like they'll have to outwork the Celtics in at least six.

The Celtics' major advantage is their ability to get to the line. They shot 20 more attempts from the stripe than the Pacers did in Game 1. Tatum shot 12 free throw attempts alone, something that turned an average shooting night into a 36 point performance.

Of course the Pacers inability to get to the line is nothing new. The tweet below is from before Game 1 so add 20 to both totals.

Part of it is definitely refereeing... but part of it is also style of play. The Pacers share the ball and take open shots (way more than the rest of the league) which leads to less fouls. It's easy to look at stats like the one below and say that we're being treated unfairly, but the truth is Haliburton avoids contact like the plague. Having said that, I believe Siakam – and Turner to a lesser extent – need to be in the officials' ears from the opening tip about getting whistles when they are hacked in the paint.

Let's hope the team bounces back in a big way tonight. Going down 0-2 will be a lot tougher to survive this time around.


Porzingis is still out. The latest projection is that he might be available for Game 4.

How to Watch

Tipoff is at 8:00 PM ET.


Radio: 93.5/107.5 The Fan

See ya in the comments!

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