That’s the question I have to keep asking myself after last night’s inability to close out the series against the New York Knicks. Granted, the Indiana Pacers were just about there in that game despite playing awful. Missed free throws. No George Hill. Easy baskets being missed. Turnovers happen. Why this team can’t complete the easy passes is beyond me? I only feel confident in the passing ability of a few players on the team. Every one else I just hope they can make a pass at all. Now there’s a day off today, and tomorrow night is game six at home for the Pacers. That’s one reason to feel confident, Indiana is 5-0 at home. Winning all those home games by double digits as well. So there’s that to put in the pro list of game six. But how about the status of George Hill? Still no word, and the Pacers did lose something without him. He’s got that ability to score, to pass, to lead the team on the floor.
If there’s someone to step into that general leadership role on the floor, then I would look to David West. Tomorrow night, he needs to demand the ball, and work his way to the basket as much as possible. Paul George is also on that list of guys who need to be aggressive. I do think the Pacers had that look of wanting to push the matter of closing out last night, and maybe they pushed too much. I’m not saying they were over confident, but more they pressed too much to try to get back into the game, and weren’t focused on doing the right things. But playing at home in front of the home fans with another chance to close out should help settle this team.
I know tomorrow night won’t be an easy game, but this team should be able to do it. D.J. Augustin had filled in a few times for Hill and performed solid. He needs to be at the top of his game tomorrow night. David West is a guy I would look to as someone who’ll step up and lead this team. If Hill is able to play, that’s a huge boost to the team even if he’s not fully ready to go. But having Hill out there is enough. Roy Hibbert needs to look to be in that scoring mode as he’s looked better than Tyson Chandler at times, and what better time than in game six. It’s the perfect opportunity for the Pacers to close out the Knicks, and move on to that mountain of a team the Miami Heat. I am not trying to look ahead, but if things play out right for the Pacers, no reason why they can’t figure out how to pull off the win tomorrow night.