There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home. That was the mantra of the Indiana Pacers as they put away the Atlanta Hawks in what was quite the beat down. Even after a third quarter that would never end, the game wasn’t in doubt once the Pacers got rolling. That first quarter saw the Hawks with the one point lead, but after that it was all Pacers. The starters each stepped up at different moments, which was great to see. Paul George looked as good as he could in driving to the lane, and really playing well defensively. David West had his best game of the series, and hopefully this will continue. West needs to be as strong as ever if the Pacers want to put away the Hawks, and continue to where they should be going. Roy Hibbert looked strong at times, and had some ticky tack fouls that probably weren’t fouls. There was good Lance Stephenson at times, and when he’s got that green light to go, he can really do some great things out there.
But this series is such an odd series to predict. I had said yesterday’s game would be a close one, and we get the Pacers winning by 23. Every game, the home team has won. By double digits. Even the games have featured a 20 point lead by the home team, so take that for what it’s worth. It’s like whoever gets the tone going, that is the team going to win. The Pacers have looked to push the tempo at times, which is good to see. They’re a great team in transition as they have those guys that can finish at the rim. The Pacers played very physical, when things get all weird in that third quarter. I think the refs really slowed down the game so it wouldn’t get out of hand after some technical fouls were called, and it looked like things could get to that chippy place.
I give the refs credit for that, but some of those calls against the Pacers weren’t fouls. The refs were hearing it from a rocking crowd, and the Pacers really fed off that energy. It’s amazing to see how the Pacers looked after looking so bad in games three and four. Someone explain that to me, and if anyone predicted how this series would break down, you should be a millionaire.
Now it’s off to game six, and the Pacers have seen what works in game five, so if they can bottle that up, and they should be able to put away the Hawks. I do believe that tomorrow night’s game will be a close one, and the Pacers should finally get that win after 13 straight losses in the hot city of Atlanta. Time to get a road win as the series always starts when the road team wins, and in this case, the road time will finish the series.