Why Pacers fans shouldn't panic about Game 1 blowout loss

The Indiana Pacers got blown out by the Bucks in Game 1. Here's why they shouldn't panic.
Apr 21, 2024; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Indiana Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton (0) drives past
Apr 21, 2024; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Indiana Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton (0) drives past / Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

It was the worst possible scenario for the Indiana Pacers in Game 1 against the Bucks. Not only did they get blown out, they looked completely overmatched in the first half. At times, it didn't even look like they knew how to play basketball. The bright lights of the playoffs clearly got to them.

The Pacers shot just 20.5% from three and only had three players score in double figures. Worst of all, the Bucks blew the Pacers out even with their best player out. Everything that could go wrong for Indiana did go wrong, especially in the first half of the game.

But not all hope is lost. The Pacers were down by as much as 29 in the first half. They got it as close as 12 in the second half, specifically when they won the third quarter 29-14. That second half is one of the reasons why Pacers fans shouldn't give up hope.

The Indiana Pacers can't possibly play worse than they did in Game 1

Indiana shot under 40% from the field. They were held under 100 points for just the second time all season. They missed wide-open threes that they normally make. Those things won't happen for an entire seven-game series. This is an outlier to what has been a very consistent offense.

Tyrese Haliburton will definitely get scolded by the coaches to be more aggressive too. In 38 minutes, he took just seven shots. He needs to be more of a scorer for this team to hit its ceiling. Rick Carlisle and the staff will make sure that's the case in Game 2.

Carlisle will also most likely shorten the rotation. While the bench has been the best in the NBA this season, they were very bad in Game 1. 11 different players saw the floor. I think both Doug McDermott and Isaiah Jackson get cut from that rotation. There's a chance Ben Sheppard does too. I think at most it will be a nine-man rotation on Tuesday.

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Game 1 was bad. There's no denying that. But that doesn't mean the whole series is lost for these young Indiana Pacers.