Keys for the Pacers to bounce back from Game 1 loss

Game 1 against the Bucks was 50% a disaster for the Pacers but 100% a learning point in the hopes of winning this series.
Indiana Pacers v Milwaukee Bucks - Game One
Indiana Pacers v Milwaukee Bucks - Game One / Stacy Revere/GettyImages

Damian Lillard and Khris Middleton used their playoff experience to completely dominate the Pacers all game, with Lillard dropping 35 points in just the first half, and Middleton having a 23-point and 10 rebound double-double.

Pascal Siakam also used his experience to drop a 36-point and 13 rebound double-double while shooting 15-25 from the field but 5-10 from the free-throw line. The Pacers struggled to get the three-point shot going as they shot 8-38 which is 21.1%. The inexperience of many players showed strongly in this game and Tyrese Haliburton only put up seven shots while Myles Turner went 5-17 and 17 points, there is a lot to take away.

The bench scored only 19 points all game and 10 came from T.J. McConnell. Players like Obi Toppin, Jalen Smith, and Ben Sheppard struggled massively, combining for nine points and shooting 3-13 from the field. The bench needs to revert back to their regular season ways, or this series could easily get away from them.

This series is still very much anyone's to grab but there are some very important things that need to be fixed. Haliburton needs to take over the game more, there is no reason why he should only be putting up seven shots in a game.

His stat line of nine points, eight assists, and seven rebounds is an underwhelming performance for the way he has played this season. Turner, Toppin, Aaron Nesmith, McConnell, and Sheppard all missed wide-open three-point attempts during the game, and in many cases, those came off of offensive rebounds that could not be capitalized.

On the defensive end, it is important to make sure Lillard is not a factor in the first half, and Bobby Portis and Middleton need to be focal points in stopping any hot streaks they can get on. Another important thing is to go high in the paint if guarded by Brook Lopez, as he had three blocks in game one and all were on layup attempts that went low.

All in all it is important that the Pacers utilize their scoring abilities and rely more on the experienced Siakam. It is also important that players play off the nerves and give Siakam the help he needs so this could be a deep run for them.


With Giannis out again for Game 2, the Pacers need to win this game and give the home crowd something to cheer on for games three and four.