Negative: Letting the Bucks get back in it early
There is no reason this game should have been won by only two points.
For the past few years, the Indiana Pacers have had a habit of building big leads against teams, typically in the first half, only to watch those leads evaporate right in front of them as they sit idly by and do nothing.
This exact case happened in the Bucks game, as Indiana built as much as an 18-point lead in the first quarter, went into the second quarter up 16, and watched Milwaukee slowly crawl back as their defense had no answer for Giannis, Middleton, and company.
No matter how good or bad a team is, there should be no reason why a basketball team turns an 18-point lead into a 10-point deficit. While I may be grasping at straws here since the Pacers would go on to win, I have said before that this could lead to disaster soon if they don't try to keep this major issue at bay.
Going back to the Cleveland game in the In-Season Tournament, Indiana had a similar scenario, as they built as big as an 18-point lead going into the third quarter, only to watch Cleveland make that lead vanish in the blink of an eye as the Pacers tried to play catch-up ball the rest of the way.
Eventually, they got the win, but the point still stands. You cannot let a team come back from a double-digit lead. As we saw against Milwaukee, the Pacers have an awful habit of turning a double-digit lead for them into a double-digit lead for the opposing team.
Luckily, Tyrese Haliburton and Bennedict Mathurin had other plans for the night and willed the Pacers to victory in the closing minutes, but the team still has to be careful from now on. Blowing large leads is not a sustainable practice in today's NBA, especially in the playoffs, which the Pacers are trying to make this year.