3 negatives and 1 positive from Indiana's game 1 loss to Milwaukee

Indiana's Game 1 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks came and went, and there was plenty to take away.
Indiana Pacers v Milwaukee Bucks - Game One
Indiana Pacers v Milwaukee Bucks - Game One / Stacy Revere/GettyImages
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Negative: Atrocious offense for 48 minutes

There's no two ways about this, the Pacers looked lost on offense in game 1. For the supposed 'best offense in the league,' Indiana could not get anything going and played with none of the fluidity from the regular season. Despite keeping a fast pace but relatively decent shot IQ in the regular season, with an ability to get set in the half-court before finding a good shot, those shots just didn't go in in this case.

Indiana took 38 three-pointers in game 1, the second-most they've ever taken in a playoff game. Most of these shots were open as well, with the ball movement still going strong, however, they just could not make them consistently. Whether it be fast-break opportunities, drive-and-kicks, or even open jumpers off swing passes, the Pacers could not get anything going for the life of them from deep.

Looking at the box score, the three-pointers really did Indiana in, as they shot a respectable 52% from two-point range, and had more paint points, second-chance points, and fast-break points than the Bucks as well. However, it is hard to win a basketball game in 2024 shooting 21% from deep, especially when your regular season offense involved taking 35 threes per game and making them at a 37.4% clip.

To sum it up, most of the Pacers' offensive struggles can be chalked up to a mix of lack of confidence and experience, both by-products of each other. Of the eight Pacers to get over 10 minutes in game 1, only one of them, Pascal Siakam, has legitimate playoff experience outside of the first round.

Coincidentally, Siakam played the best by far, scoring 36 points (playoff career-high) and grabbing 13 rebounds on 15/25 shooting to lead Indiana in scoring by a wide margin, a full 19 points more than second-place Myles Turner. Siakam was also one of two Pacers to shoot above 50% on the night, with the other being Tyrese Haliburton.

Speaking of which.