In 2012, the LA Clippers dealt a 99-98 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies in their first Game of the playoffs after trailing by as much as 27 pts.
This game was like that. I started watching in the 3q with Ind leading 74-52, a 22 pt. lead that would normally entail death for whoever is catching up.
But then LeBron James (41 pts, 45 mins) happened, and with Kyrie Irving (13 pts, 31 mins) and Kevin Love (13 pts, 26 mins) out most of the 4q the Cavaliers started to show the sort of game that I would say puts them not only above the boys, not only above the men, but right there where the Championship teams should be.
This wasn’t of course without help from the Pacers, who were literally playing deer in the headlights mode throughout. They were either playing in a way that made them look like they were trying new plays they were unaccustomed to, or were just too hesitant or uncertain of themselves to be effective.
Either way, Paul George’s job was to grab the reins and take control of his team. Just demand the ball and make things – anything – happen.
Unfortunately the only time I saw any of the sort happen was in the final few minutes of the 4q when they were down by 5 pts. He should have been playing like that throughout the last quarter, but instead each Indian player just looked lost and frustrated.
There’s no way the Pacers are getting this back at 0-3. On the plus side they look like a team that is missing one or two good pieces away from being contenders. They’re going to have to settle for that this year.