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.
|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.