The Pacers will have to quite literally rebound to closeout the Wizards in the Eastern Conference semifinals after a horrid Game 5 performance by Indiana will send the series back to Washington for Game 6.
After the Wizards took an early five-point lead midway through the first quarter, the Pacers had a signature possession that appeared to indicate they weren't going anywhere.
David West bounced a jump shot which Roy Hibbert kept alive by first tipping the ball away from a group and then jumping to save the ball out of bounds. George Hill then jumped out of bounds to save Hibbert's save and was able to get the ball to David West.
Hibbert then gave the Pacers a third chance by batting out a missed shot by Lance Stephenson which eventually turned into a layup for Stephenson. Phenomenal team effort led by the big fella.
As it turns out, that was the height of the Pacers effort on the night and two of just 23 rebounds all night as the Wizards simply rolled through the Pacers to amass a 39-rebound advantage.
That's like being outscored by, I don't know, 50? 60? Hibbert wouldn't grab another rebound all night while the team's leading rebounders, Paul George (1) and Lance Stephenson (0) combined for one board.
The results of the game became laughable. So bad, maybe it was a good thing. Surely Marcin Gortat will miss a few shots in Game 6, right? But the part that wasn't so funny was John Wall finding his groove in the Fieldhouse, while finding his range from behind the arc and hitting the Pacers with 27 points.
The Wizards were down and out, now they head home a little chesty after embarrassing the Pacers in a potential closeout game. I'm sure Indiana will respond favorably to the adverse condition they've created for themselves, but they still have to play quite well to put away the Wiz.
After what we saw in Game 5, we're back to a day-to-day watch on which Pacers' team shows up.
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