2. Fouls and free throw discrepancy
Besides the complete ghosting from the bench, this may have been the most undisciplined Pacers game of the season so far, and only so much of it can be blamed on the referees.
While the Pacers have rarely been subject to completely fair refereeing in recent years, there is only so much of an advantage the referees can give a team until it goes back to the players playing too aggressively, which was the case in Portland.
Call it getting too aggressive, or call it getting lazy. Either way, the Pacers committed far too many fouls, committing 26 in comparison to Portland's 21. This, in turn, led to more free throws for the Blazers, as Indiana shot 25 free throws on the night while Portland took a staggering 35, with 18 coming in the 4th quarter in comparison to Indiana's 13.
This free throw discrepancy also led to some funny moments on social media, as Raptors fans tuning in to watch Siakam's first game in Indiana were also shocked at the amount of calls the Blazers were getting and wondering if this was a nightly occurrence.
However, as I stated earlier, only so much blame can be put on the officials. A lot of the issues came down to Pacers players not being able to defend cleanly on inside drives, with Aaron Nesmith fouling out and Siakam himself struggling with foul trouble with five fouls on the night.
Speaking of foul calls, one of the most puzzling moments of the game, and the moment that put the proverbial nail in Indiana's coffin came near the end, when Portland's Jabari Walker traveled on a rebound and then was called for a technical foul after getting tangled up with Aaron Nesmith.
Instead of the Pacers getting free throws, however, Walker was given two free throws, putting the Blazers up five points and making the deficit too large for Indiana to recover from. This play perhaps summed up how the game went for the Pacers in general, as while Aaron Nesmith did also get called for a technical foul, there was seemingly no penalty for Walker's technical or the travel that was committed before it.