Negative: Defense almost costs game
Usually, when a team puts up 73 points at the half, they'll have a commanding lead. This was not the case for the Pacers, as despite putting up 73 points on 52% shooting in the first 24 minutes, they miraculously allowed Atlanta to score a staggering 86 points at the half, a new Hawks record for points scored in a half.
These 86 points came with little to no difficulty as well, as the Hawks shot a staggering 62% from the field and 55% from beyond the arc, taking full advantage of the Pacer's defense, or lack thereof.
I have seen the Pacers struggle on defense plenty of times watching games, but Tuesday was the first time I saw it in person, and it was quite bad. There is no use scoring 73 points in a half when you give up 83, and the Pacers played the first half like there was only one side to the ball.
While Indiana has had bad defensive halves as recently as Sunday when they gave up 78 points in a half to the Magic, nothing has reached the 86-point half the Hawks achieved on Tuesday.
It's a miracle that Indiana has an 8-5 record when you look at their defensive stats and see how bad they really are. In fact, if you watch only the Pacers' defensive possessions, you'd probably think they were the worst team in the league. The lack of height has been an issue I touched upon earlier, but that is still not an excuse to let up 86 points on blazing-hot efficiency in one half.
With all these points scored by the Hawks in the first half, it really is a miracle how the Pacers won the game. If you've been watching this team, last night even had you jumping out your seat.