Postgame Thoughts: Game 2 Follow Similar Path
A few thoughts coming up on the Hawks’ 113-98 loss to the Pacers in Game 2 of their first-round Playoff series:
— First and foremost, let’s remember the old playoff adage: A series isn’t a series until someone wins a game on the other team’s court. It’s a cliche, but it’s true. Neither of the games in Indianapolis will be on a Hawks’ fan’s season-ending top 10 list, but ultimately nothing has happened that shouldn’t have been anticipated. The Pacers are a terrific team that plays great basketball, especially at home.
— That said, the Hawks made it harder on themselves in Game 2 with ill-timed turnovers, misses at the FT line, and other correctable mistakes. It’s hard enough to win in Indy — giving away points just makes it that much tougher.
— The backcourt played pretty well. Jeff Teague and Devin Harris both got to the rim repeatedly finishing with 16 and 17 points respectively. In the first half especially, both guys took advantage of poor Pacers defense to get easy buckets.
— In Game 1 it was Al Horford who found his minutes limited by foul trouble; in Game 2 it was Josh Smith who suffered the consequences of some aggressive whistling. It was particularly hurtful tonight as Smoove scored 16 points and grabbed 6 boards in only 20 minutes of game time.
— The Pacers scored 113 points tonight, but to the naked eye I thought they took a lot of shots the Hawks would be content to have them take. Unfortunately they made them, and some nights that is going to happen.
— Paul George taking a lot of shots is not something the Hawks will be content with, so they’ll have to go back to the drawing board to figure out how to stop the NBA’s Most Improved Player. George led all scorers with 27 points.
Once again, a lot went against the Hawks. Yet once again, I still can’t help but feel like the game was winnable, despite what the final score would tell you. Tighten things up, and get ready, because the series really starts on Saturday night at Philips.