Game 1 is behind us. As bad as it was, it's a seven game series. A win tomorrow and everything is evened up at one.
But what needs to change for the Pacers to win?
1. End the Egg Timer.
It worked in the regular season, knowing when players are going to come in at certain times. The Pacers were cruising in the first quarter, but then Frank Vogel, as he has done all year, made his substitutions of Barbosa and Hansbrough.
The lead then quickly vanished. This is the playoffs. The starters need to be playing more minutes than they have in the regular season.
The Magic relied on their starters, and were able to close the gaps when the bench came in.
2. Stop the Three
The scary thing is the Magic weren’t as good as they usually are from behind the arc. But still, Jason Richardson flashed back to 2007 and torched the Pacers for five three pointers. The Pacers need to find a way to limit their three point shooters.
3. Close it Out
Just like last year against the Bulls, the Pacers were unable to close out Game 1 against the Magic. What needs to be done differently down the stretch? Going inside to West more and playing through him, a guy that has been there in the playoffs is what needs to be done.
Ride it through him, when they double, kick it back out.
Hibbert had a nice defensive game, but his offense was horrible. Davis constantly got Hibbert off the low block with his strength and huge frame. When Hibbert did have position, he rushed his moves and put up bad shots.
For the Pacers to win this series, Hibbert has to have a stronger game.
5. Free Throws
I don’t know what happened, but the Pacers couldn’t hit a free throw to save their life. 13 for 22 is not going to cut it in the playoffs. I’m going to assume this was a one time deal, because all season the Pacers have been a great free throw shooting team.
Maybe it was the bright lights of being on national tv? The next two games are on NBA TV and Fox Sports Indiana, so that excuse will be thrown out the window if the trend continues.