The Indiana Pacers are looking good and riding high after two dominant performances. Now the series shifts to the city of Atlanta, where the Pacers haven’t had much luck if any luck in the past 11 tries. Maybe there is something in the water that makes the Pacers not win there. Maybe it’s the lack of fan support as someone called in to yesterday’s local sports talk show and said that he bets tomorrow’s game will be about 75% full. For a playoff game. Talk about your fair weather fans. This Pacers team has all the momentum, so one would think that they should kick this streak to the curb, and pick up that third win in the best of seven series.
For Roy Hibbert, it’s a streak of nine straight losses and no wins in his career when traveling to Atlanta. He also vividly remembers the last time that the Pacers played there as he went scoreless. Not one point. Generally looking lost during that game, we’ve seen quite the turn around from Hibbert over the past season. He went from missing just about everything to scoring double figures throughout the last couple of months. He looks so much better after the All Star Break, and just imagine if he played that went before, the Pacers might have had two All Stars on the East. But I’m glad Hibbert is finding his groove now, and he’ll have to show that the last time in Atlanta was a fluke.
The Pacers need to put away this losing streak, and continue to win as they are proving they’re the better team. They’ve had Atlanta searching for answers everywhere, and generally looking like they could just implode at any point. How about those three technical fouls that included Al Horford having to be restrained before confronting a referee. If the Pacers can continue this domination, fans in Atlanta won’t be showing up for game four there. Paul George has been so impressive in the first two games that I hope he will continue to play strong. He’s not been as good on the road, and tomorrow night is a great chance to show that he’s ready to dominate home or away. Reggie Miller in New York is the comparison I can make there. We Pacer fans know what Reggie did in Madison Square Garden. I’m not saying Paul George has to put up that huge of a game, but continuing the 20 points and double figure rebounding is a great way to show that he’s playoff ready.
This Pacers team should be able to get in the Hawks’ head like they have been, and put up points like they can. 113 was the most playoff points since the NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers. It probably won’t take that many to win game three, but it would be lovely to see. Big games from Hibbert and George will put the Pacers in prime position for this game three win.