The series scoreboard says everything is even between the Pacers and Hawks in their first round playoff series. But as David West quickly pointed out following the Pacers' win on Tuesday, until Indiana wins in Atlanta, the Hawks are still in control.
"We're still down in the series," West said. "But we feel good about where we are. The most encouraging thing is the way we played defensively. We didn't allow a team to just play freakin' playground basketball, making layup after layup on us."
So how do they take that effort on the road to Philips Arena where positive memories are sparse? By straddling the line of playing with desperation befitting of the importance of each game without resorting to panic.
"We didn't panic after dropping that first game," West said. "My first year here, for this core, we went through the same thing with Orlando, we dropped Game 1 and we were the third seed. So we didn't panic and we had no panic (after Game 1) in film and practice, just regrouped and I think we came out with better sustained effort."
A sustained effort on the road has been a rarity for the Pacers over the past couple of months, but finding that grove in Atlanta for Game 3 can put the Pacers back in charge of the series. With the media drama stirred up on Wednesday, the Pacers should be eager to get back on the court and let their game do some talking.
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