The vultures were circling around the Fieldhouse on Tuesday night and when the Pacers went to the break down four points, they were down to their last gasp of the season.
Then they took in a deep breath and threw an early-December-esque third quarter ambush at the Hawks that sucked the life and confidence out of the visitors to even up the series.
Paul George set the tone with his effort in the first half, but the Hawks were still confounding the Pacers by making half of their shots including eight of 16 from behind the arc. That all changed in the second half when the Pacers scrambling defense took the Hawks out of their comfort zone and saw them shoot under 30 percent for the half and make just two of 13 three balls.
The Pacers altered their lineup with George Hill and C.J. Watson playing together while Luis Scola lobbed in rainbow setter after rainbow setter. On the bench, Roy Hibbert was the first up to cheer on his guys and when PG drilled a three-pointer at the buzzer to end the devastating third quarter, the whole bench mobbed the young star on the court.
Nope. The Pacers are not dead.
Among the links today is a revealing story from Adrian Wojnarowski who reports on a practice fight between Evan Turner and Lance Stephenson last Friday, prior to Game 1. Honestly, these two scrapping it out would be the least of my worries for this team and I'd actually lean toward it being a healthy release of anxiety. If it was David West and Paul George or Roy Hibbert, then I'd be concerned.
I have a feeling Woj was in town to write the eulogy to deliver for the Pacers' season with the fight as symbol for the team running into the ground. But then the third quarter happened which surely led to some heavy editing. Now the final story on the Pacers' season remains to be written as the Pacers try to take the effort they delivered on Tuesday with them on the road and prove that one half wasn't a fluke.
Check out the links: