Indiana Pacers 85
Washington Wizards 63
Indiana Pacers Lead Series 2-1
First off, time to step up on my soap box. I am not about to declare that the Indiana Pacers are back. They’re not the same old team from November and December. To me, the playoffs do present that new start. Each game presents a new start. You know those same people crying loud that the Pacers are back will be the same people crying loud if the Pacers put together a bad game come Sunday. That’s the beauty or not beauty of these playoffs, every game has been a roller coaster of a ride. Stepping off the soapbox, so we can talk up game three.
Talk about a defensive effort by the Indiana Pacers. 63 points allowed. Let’s repeat that because it’s the fourth lowest total scored by any team since 1954-55. 63 points allowed. The lowest total of the season the Pacers have given up, and the lowest that the Washington Wizards had scored in any playoff game. If that’s not a defensive effort, then who knows what is?
Sure, the offense was bad at times, but this is the type of game that Indiana relishes in. I believe they deserve the credit for the bad offense of the Wizards as the Pacers were that locked into the defense. You could pinpoint two or three instances where guys like George Hill and Paul George just ripped the ball away from the Wizards.
One play saw John Wall go up for a layup without the ball as George Hill just snagged it straight out of his hands. Another time, Paul George leaps up and takes away a pass that he made look easy. Those are the defensive plays that the Pacers need to continue to see.
Paul George led the way on the offensive side of things as well with his 23 points and eight rebounds. He had some daggers there in the second half. How about the play of Roy Hibbert? 14 points, five rebounds, and three blocks. That’s a stat sheet filler. David West played up in that fourth quarter as well on his way to 12 points.
If you’re only going to give up 63 points, chances are, it doesn’t matter what you do offensively. The Pacers are known for their defense, and last night hammered that point home. Can they string another performance like that? Come Sunday night, we’ll find out.