With extreme apologies to the original Chuck D, it was a tale of two halves in Detroit or more accurately, a tale of two games within a game that led to a comforting Pacers win on the road in overtime.
In this classic (again, apologies to C. Dickens), the worst of times came for the Pacers in the first half, when they spent the better part of two quarters getting drubbed and falling behind by 25 points. This AFTER the Pistons lost active, big man Andre Drummond.
But after absorbing that early beat down, the best of times was to come. In the second half of two games within a game, and more importantly, the one that counted, the Pacers punished the Pistons by 33 points. Frank Vogel worked his verbal magic at halftime as the players recalled after the game.
The Pistons ran up their early lead after Drummond left, but eventually his absence was felt, most notably on the glass, where the Pacers held a surprising 62-44 rebound advantage, including 18-8 on the offensive glass. Just one of the stats that reads like the Pacers won by 33 instead of eight in OT.
Add to that, making 23 of 25 free throws and only 10 turnovers and the numbers appear to drastically favor the Pacers. Oh, and 35 points combined from Evan Turner and Andrew Bynum off the bench? Yike, this would've been a difficult loss.
Instead it was a strong rally for a win on the second night of a back-to-back...on the road. Frank Vogel dipped into his motivational tactics at half time and his crew responded. That's the best sign of things turning around. When this team comes together, focused on winning and nothing else, they can dominate. And now with Bynum and Turner pitching in for a dominant half and a win, the team bonds just drew a bit tighter.
It was humorous to hear Andrew Bynum and Evan Turner both react to what they saw from Vogel at the break for the first time. They are now officially part of the mix as the Pacers try to build on this turnaround in Detroit to turn their level of play in the right direction.
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