Pacers Playoffs Links: Pacers quickly give up home court advantage

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The top seed in the East doesn't mean much for the Pacers after dropping Game 1 to the Hawks on Saturday night.

The Pacers didn't take long to relinquish the home court advantage they worked all season to attain. After appearing to have things figured out at the half, the Pacers folded in the second half when things started going against them which let Atlanta rest on a 1-0 lead for a couple of days.

Paul George scored 14 first-half points and sparked a strong second quarter which evened the game at halftime. But PG wasn't able to make the same impact in the second half, scoring five of his 10 second-half points in the waning minutes of garbage time.

The Pacers were down two when a knee to the thigh followed by a cramp forced George to leave the game for some quick treatment in the locker room. By the time he returned, the Atlanta lead was 13 and the Pacers were left behind for good.

If the Pacers can't get a big offensive night from PG, they have to look at letting him focus on slowing down Jeff Teague. The former Pike star had his way with the ball in his hands, scoring 28 points which included getting to the line 10 times. PG compared Teague's quickness to the likes of Derrick Rose and John Wall. I'm pretty sure PG would (and has) try to slow those guys down. George Hill and Lance Stephenson have enough length and speed to cover Kyle Korver and DeMarre Carroll. And if they don't, at least the Pacers are making someone else beat them. The last two games have been enough to confirm, Teague is a problem.

So while Roy Hibbert gets his share of blame and everyone was concerned with Pero Antic, it was the other front-court matchup that was a big difference. Early foul trouble limited David West's minutes and he was never able to get much going offensively. Meanwhile, Paul Millsap was a monster, finishing with 25 points and 8 rebounds. He was good around the rim, in the mid-range area, creating his own shot -- whatever the Hawks needed from him.

The Pacers didn't get many favorable bounces and the bulk of the 50-50 balls went to the Hawks. Too many fouls gave the Hawks a decided difference at the foul line. These are all things that can go the other way in a hurry. But the Pacers' desire to put forth the effort it takes to win a playoff game, let alone a series, also has to go the other way...and in a hurry.

Check out the links:

Hawks at Pacers: Box score

Game Rewind: Pacers 93, Hawks 101, Game 1 | THE OFFICIAL SITE OF THE INDIANA PACERS

Pacers Fall Into Early Hole | THE OFFICIAL SITE OF THE INDIANA PACERS

No shrugging off Pacers’ Game 1 performance - 1070 The Fan

Game 1: Hawks 101, Pacers 93 | www.ajc.com

Hawks take 1-0 lead by rolling past Pacers 101-93 - AP

Insider: Teague, 3-pointers and fouls doom Pacers in loss to Atlanta - Indy Star

Kravitz: Pacers collapse isn't complete but you can see it from here - Indy Star

Roy Hibbert: 'I'm the weak link on defense' vs. Atlanta - Indy Star

NBA Playoffs 2014: Jeff Teague leads Atlanta to rout in Game 1 - Peachtree Hoops

How the Hawks' shooting made Roy Hibbert's life miserable - SBNation.com

TheJayGravesReport.com: The Walking Dead (Why after only one game the Pacers may simply be done bruh)

Pacers Get Destroyed by Hawks in Game 1: This Is My Shocked Face - 8 Points, 9 Seconds

Indiana loses home-court advantage, falls to Atlanta, has no answers for its continued struggles | Ball Don't Lie - Yahoo Sports

Video: Pacers’ David West, Hawks’ Pero Antic get double technicals after confrontation | The Point Forward - SI.com

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