The first two games of these playoffs have shown a different intensity on defense for the Indiana Pacers. While they did lose the first game, and struggle to guard the three, there’s no doubt with Roy Hibbert’s nine blocks, defense is a priority for this team.
Allowing just 81 points and 77 points in the first two games should point to another sign that the Pacers are focusing on the defensive end. It was prevalent in last night’s game two when the Pacers held the Magic in the third quarter to just 13 points. 13 points to a quarter. That’s getting hands in the faces of shooters and making sure to clamp down on the defense.
One play stands out in particular when David West came out to guard a Magic player, sorry my memory slipped and can’t remember who, but West knocked the ball out of his hands and got the ball back to the Pacers. The enthusiasm from coach Frank Vogel was awesome, and I don’t think I’ve seen him express that much in a play. Just another hallmark of this team. Everyone is doing their part on that end.
Shooting percentages wise, the Magic have shot under 40% in both games, and aren’t getting that many good looks. The Pacers will have to continue to defend like this so they can close out this series, and move on to the next round. It should be interesting to see if the Pacers can be this tight on that end come Wednesday night as the game is in Orlando, and I believe the home crowd helped amp up the intensity level of the Pacers.