David West set the tone early with his effort letting everyone know that he wasn't going down without a fight. Then Lance Stephenson joined the starters late in the second quarter and in the third to help ramp up the intensity on the court. After an 18-0 run in the third it appeared the Pacers had some things figured out.
Unfortunately they still don't have their zone offense figured out. All of that great play came to a screeching halt and eventually went to waste when the Hawks stymied the Pacers with a zone defense in the fourth quarter. Suddenly the game took on quite a different, yet familiar arc.
It looked just like one of those classic Pacers losses from around 2009 when Jim O'Brien's shooters would get hot in the third quarter and run up a lead before letting it slip away in the fourth. That team struggled figuring out how to close games as Danny Granger, Mike Dunleavy and Troy Murphy weren't up for grabbing the game by the throat and securing a win.
Granger developed into a guy the Pacers could look to last season but now that he's out, the Pacers appear back to ground zero in their search for a late-game hero. Last night in the closing minutes, Roy Hibbert missed a little shot in the lane and Paul George missed an open three which kept Atlanta steamrolling to the win. If the defense can focus on covering David West, the Pacers will need another option to step forward. Last night there was none.
Check out the links with more on the game and Danny Granger's injury:
- Pacers at Hawks - Box score, highlights
- Game Rewind: Pacers 86, Hawks 89 | THE OFFICIAL SITE OF THE INDIANA PACERS
- A New Appreciation for Granger | THE OFFICIAL SITE OF THE INDIANA PACERS
- Pacers' struggle against zone leads to loss | Indianapolis Star | indystar.comHawks battle back to win in dramatic fashion | www.ajc.com
- Korver, Hawks rally late to beat Pacers, 89-86 - AP
- Korver, Teague, and the Zone Keys to the Hawks comeback win over the Pacers - Peachtree Hoops
- Pacers: The bench can become a factor anytime they’re ready | Pacers Insider | The Indianapolis Star | IndyStar.com
- Granger's Injury Changes Pacers' Season Outlook | THE OFFICIAL SITE OF THE INDIANA PACERS
- With Granger out at least 3 months, Pacers must regroup | 1070 The Fan – Opinion & Analysis
- Post-Game Grades: Fourth-Quarter Collapse to Atlanta Mars Good Indiana Showing | Eight Points, Nine Seconds
- In the NBA's Eastern Conference, everyone is playing for 6th - SBNation.com
- Danny Granger's injury and the future of the Pacers - Grantland
- Paul George: Can Indiana Pacers star replace injured Danny Granger? | The Point Forward - SI.com
- Danny Granger's knee injury lowers ceiling for Indiana Pacers | The Point Forward - SI.com
- Winderman: Granger news takes pressure of Rose return | ProBasketballTalk
- Danny Granger (left knee injury) to miss 3 months in big blow for Pacers | Ball Don't Lie - Yahoo! Sports
- In the absence of Danny Granger - TrueHoop Blog - ESPN