It wouldn't have taken much for the Pacers to be up 2-0 in this series, but on the flip side, they could be down 0-2 were it not for a gutty second half effort on Monday night. The Pacers didn't play their best game but they outworked the Magic in the final 24 minutes to secure the win.
Still the Pacers have plenty of game left untapped as they are far from firing on all cylinders like they did through much of April. Danny Granger is 14 for 41 from the field and 3 of 14 from behind the arc with a grand total of 35 points in two games. That won't last the whole series. Granger will have a game where he makes 4 of 6 threes and gets rolling for a mid-20's scoring night. Why? Because that's what he does when his game is rolling. He's not done.
Roy Hibbert has had to opposite problem, after taking just five shots in Game 2, he is 5 for 16 from the floor for 12 points in BOTH games. Hibbert mentioned today that he would love to play in the Olympics considering all of the big men who won't be available this summer. Forget the gold, how about an 18 and 12 night from the post.
So there's plenty of room to improve if you just look to Granger and Hibbert to do things they've done all season. Paul George needs to bring the consistent effort and aggressive frame of mind, too. Tyler Hansbrough needs to bring a little offense off the bench along with his trademark effort. Hansbrough was huge in Game 2 thanks to his hustle plays, but he had a few shot that made me wonder if he was using Vaseline for saline solution on his contacts.
I'm not asking for anything out of the ordinary from these players, just the type of production they have shown they can deliver. The team is tight and galvanizing on the road in front of an unfriendly crowd may do the Pacers some good as they continue ramping up the playoff intensity. Then maybe they can start executing the way they did to earn the three seed.