The tone was set for this game early, leaving nothing worthwhile to analyze. Frank Vogel channeled his inner Jim Caldwell, making Danny Granger and Jeff Foster inactive for the game and then letting Darren Collison play the first quarter before shutting it down for the night.
After jumping out to a 9-5 lead, the Pacers went Butler cold falling behind 28-14 after one quarter. The Magic when on separate 15-0 and 8-0 runs in the first quarter. By halftime, the Magic were up 53-29 and running time seemed appropriate. A mild third quarter run cut the lead to 12 but did little to raise the interest level in the game.
The Magic took a different approach, playing their starters 20-plus minutes. In fact, Dwight Howard and company returned to the court late in the third quarter and drew the ire of Stan Van Gundy after some especially poor defense. The Pacers on the other hand took nothing from this game aside from loading 15 healthy bodies on the plane home.
Considering the Pacers shot 31% with 17 turnovers and the Magic had 28 turnovers, you can just imagine how brutal this game was. Hopefully, the Pacers shot all of those misses out of their system before heading to Chicago.The Pacers even tried to sneak six players into the action late in the fourth quarter. Not really, but they did receive a technical for an inadvertent play when they did have six on the floor.
The big news from this game came in the second half when the NBA released the remaining playoff schedule for round one. After Game 1 on Saturday at 1:00PM, Game 2 will be on Monday at 9:30PM then back to Conseco Fieldhouse for home games on Thursday and Saturday with the tip time TBD.
That's what this game was all about, getting to the playoffs healthy and ready to play.