Pacers Gut Out a Win over Hawks in Game 4, Tie Series


The Good: Just the determination late. Clichés and all, but they gutted this one out. Paul George and David West both hit monster shots, and George Hill was big for the entire fourth while on the court. Moreover, the team defense late was superb: Indiana outscored Atlanta 15-8 in the final six minutes with the Hawks shooting just 1-for-6 and committing 3 turnovers.

The Bad: The second quarter. Again. They scored 14 in the second in Game 3 and today it dropped to 13. How do you do that?

MVP: Paul George. West was big — and his 3 was the shot of the game — but George played the final 24 minutes and led the team like everyone wants him to. Big shots.

LVP: Roy Hibbert, though mostly by default. He wasn’t so bad, just not all that useful in this matchup.

X Factor: Pero Antic isn’t making much difference when he goes 1-for-6.

Indiana Pacers 91 Final
Recap | Box Score
88 Atlanta Hawks
David West, PF 35 MIN | 7-13 FG | 3-6 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 3 STL | 2 BLK | 1 TO | 18 PTS | +13

Continues to be the most reliable Pacer and is now shooting 22-for-41 in the series. Had a huge steal and a HUGER triple. Also fouled Korver and was, somewhat comically, whistled for a lane violation. Above all stats, though, when the Pacers run the offense through him, everything looks smoother. Best of all, he said, after the game, that in Game 5, the team needs to the “same sort of feistiness.”

Paul George, SF 44 MIN | 10-18 FG | 0-2 FT | 10 REB | 5 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 2 TO | 24 PTS | +6

Phenomenal little line, but most importantly played 24 minutes of solid defense in the second half and kept enough in the tank to hit a HUUUUGE triple, hit a big fadeaway. Missed those FTs though and made several questionable passes throughout, but the line and the big plays and the D are too much to mark him down.

Roy Hibbert, C 25 MIN | 3-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | -2

At some point, if a 7-year-old keeps crashing a car, you have to stop getting mad at the child and turn your attention to the guy handing him the keys. This isn’t his series, and now he has admitted it publicly. (Although he wasn’t terrible in this game, just not helping a bunch.) Good for him to cheer well and be into the game from the bench.

George Hill, PG 36 MIN | 5-8 FG | 3-4 FT | 3 REB | 5 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 15 PTS | +9

Really liked his whole game. Some have still been calling out his defense, but let’s remember that ATL is running guys off good screens and Indiana’s perimeter defenders have no protection behind him. PG getting roasted at times as well. Perhaps Hill responding to defensive changes worse than others, but he certainly made up for any lapses on the other end today on offense. Some nice playmaking and one steal that was very nice as well.

Lance Stephenson, SG 26 MIN | 2-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 9 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 4 TO | 5 PTS | +1

Missed a bunch of wide-open 3s. Not ideal, but there were by and large good shots. Wasn’t super involved otherwise and served as a floor spacer when Indiana’s offense was actually working. Early fouls (though second was BS) weren’t good and compounded by picking up a T.

Luis Scola, PF 21 MIN | 2-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | 0

Didn’t make as many as you would like but did his job. Played the whole fourth quarter and looked good doing it. Has his confidence back even while he was missing, which will be key going forward.

Evan Turner, SF 21 MIN | 4-8 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 11 PTS | -1

Beast on the block going at Lou Williams and others to exploit the mismatch. Was arguably the biggest factor in Indiana’s high-scoring first quarter.

Ian Mahinmi, C 15 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -5

Continues to impress.

C.J. Watson, PG 18 MIN | 3-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | -6

Made a lot of good things happen. Good recognition on the lob to Paul George.

Frank Vogel

Made the necessary rotation adjustments, yet still didn’t do some obviously space-the-floor/give-West-the-ball stuff until later in the game. Reportedly kicked the snot out of his team in a film session on Friday.

Tags: Indiana Pacers

  • Ian

    I don’t agree with your rating of Hibbert and Mahinmi. If anything Hibbert was a bit better than Ian this game. He had energy, got some offensive boards, made the gimmies he’d been missing and had 2 blocks. Milsap abused Ian several times. A few times the Pacers still settled for early in the clock mid-range shots which drove me nuts. Also, how hard is it to go 2 for 1 with 35 seconds left. I think it was the end of the half instead of going 2-1, they burned 20 seconds and West took a terrible contested shot. It’s much better for them to rush the ball up and have George shoot a 28 footer and make sure you get a 2nd shot. Especially since George pulling up from 28 feet uncontested is actually a decent percentage play.

    I thought the officiating was awful, though I don’t know if it was particularly worse than other games in the series. Pretty much all their jump shooters do leg kicks, flop, or otherwise make jerky motions when shooting to try and draw calls. I was totally expecting the Hawks to win on a Korver phantom 4-point play.

    Perhaps its just the law of averages because of the number of attempts they make but the Hawks sure make a lot of improbable shots. We talk about how they have all these 3 point shooters, but the reality is, Korver is the only good 3-point shooter on the team. The rest are average or worse (Teague, Mack and Scott are all quite bad, Milsap, Antic, Carroll about average). Also going 17-17 from the line is pretty crazy. Milsap and Scott are average Ft shooters and went 9-9.

    I can only hope the Pacers can loosen up a bit in game 5 while still having the same intensity. They were obviously feeling huge pressure in game 4 with all those late FT misses.

  • Jack Wright

    I thought George Hill’s 3-pter with just over 4 minutes left was the shot of the game. Hill can really be a productive player when he’s on his game. Wish we could count on him to consistently bring it like he did today.

  • Realist

    Indiana: 48% FG, 43 rebounds (8 off), 10 turnovers
    Atlanta: 36% FG, 41 rebounds (9 off), 12 turnovers

    How did we only win by 3? I think Ian is right. The FT shooting, I guess? 6 misses (8/14) for us, 17/17 for them.

    Lesson: win the third quarter and you win the game in this series apparently. Which should be good for us, considering it’s been _our_ quarter for the past couple years. Maybe not so much for the bizarro post-ASW Pacers this season.

    Also, I loved how when West drilled that late three, everybody was going bonkers EXCEPT for Lance, who was telling everyone to chill. Ahahaha. What is this? Opposite world? Watch the replay, it’s hilarious.

    Please win, Pacers. Otherwise my overseas visit in late May will be a very quiet week in Indianapolis. Pleeeeez.

    • Jack Wright

      We got this, Realist.

    • Ian

      One thing your stats don’t show, and something that wasn’t as big a factor in this game (though still a factor of 2 points) is 3 point volume.Atlanta shoots so many 3s. Even though they only shoot about %35-36 overall, that’s effectively %52-%55 from 2 point range. In other games where the 3 point percentages were closer and Indiana took fewer 3s that gave Atlanta even more of an advantage.

      Atlanta knows that this is their only shot at winning, and they’ve looked at the Pacers roster, decided that they can gamble, pack the paint, and count on the Pacers not having enough 3 point shooters to come close to matching their effective volume. The only way the Pacers can make them pay is to shoot at a very high clip like last night (largely because of PG). This is another reason why having Copeland nailed to the bench is so frustrating.