The Pacers will give new meaning to "all in" on Thursday night in Atlanta when they have to win or bust out of the NBA playoffs in disappointing fashion. The Pacers will have to be dialed in and Frank Vogel, who made his bones in the coaching profession developing game plan options, will have to deliver his best plan tonight will a full complement of counters ready to roll.
It wouldn't hurt if the Pacers' star players came up big, as well. Prior to Game 5, I mentioned both teams were due for a game where everything fell into place. Unfortunately, the Hawks were the team to enjoy that night which was obvious the second Mike Scott banked in a three pointer. Pretty safe to say the Pacers are overdue for a similar night.
Also, Candace Buckner has a nice piece on Paul George and his struggles adjusting to sudden stardom this year. PG admitted the strain of off-court demands took its toll as he figures out how to enjoy his newfound celebrity status without letting it drown him. Can't say I'm a big fan of the timing of this article despite a full understanding of the emotional toll and lessons learned PG reveals.
"I want Indiana to know, I'm taking those steps to try and be a franchise guy, to be a community guy. But they gotta understand, I mean, I'm sure every individual who's criticized me has made mistakes that they aren't happy about it.
"I feel like I've been raised to understand right from wrong. Everything I do isn't intentional. It's just me not knowing. And I have to learn from that. I'm going to grow from (my mistakes) but it's going to make me a better person and I want to be what Indiana wants me to be."
With a no excuses, do-or-die Game 6 to play, seems like PG could've saved this for the offseason or at least a break between playoff series (gotta think positive people).
This is the cost the Pacer have had to play, relying on two 23-year-old players to be big factors in winning.
Hopefully, the Pacers will have a 24-year-old PG on Saturday night for Game 7 after he celebrates his birthday and a Game 6 win on Friday.
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