Since it’s game five, I want to get out five points about this game. This is the series clincher that the Indiana Pacers need to get done. If they lose and have to go back to Orlando, who knows what could happen?
1. Treat this like game 7: The Pacers should come out of the gates with an intensity that this is the final game. Keep their heads in the game the whole way through.
2. Play all the quarters: It’s known that the Pacers come out strong after halftime and put together a great third quarter. In tonight’s game, they need to play completely the whole way through. I don’t think they can really afford a slow start to this one, and need to come out firing.
3. Defend the three point line: This is the way the Magic can beat the Pacers if they get hot. The Pacers have been good about stopping Ryan Anderson, the top three point shooter, from getting some good looks. They have to continue to do that and get hands in the faces of anyone shooting out there.
4. Paul George: I would love for Paul George to have a strong game. I feel like he’s been lost this series, and maybe if he could get scoring, this could help his confidence for the next round.
5. Keep going to the big guys: Roy Hibbert and David West have an advantage on the block, and the Pacers need to keep feeding those guys. Hibbert should continue to be dominant on the defensive side, but I’d like him to be a bit more aggressive offensively. David West was the reason the Pacers won the last game as he just continued to score and hit the key baskets. Look for him to have another great game.
If these things happen, the Pacers will win. How nice would it be to have the home crowd there supporting this team in a game that hasn’t happened in years? The Pacers need this win tonight, so they can show this third seed was theirs and not just by default.