The Pacers left plenty of room to improve after their Game 2 win over the Wizards, but they did take care of business thanks to playing a smarter brand of basketball, which started with taking care of the ball, and winning a few key effort battles.
The Wiz beat the Pacers on the glass in Game 2 but didn't torture the Pacers as they did in Game 1 when Washington had 11 more offensive rebounds and outscored the Pacers in second chance points 19-5. In Game 2, the Wizards had four more total rebounds but the Pacers won second-chance points 8-4.
The Pacers also did a much better job in transition defense, which is a different beast against Washington when they have Trevor Ariza and Bradley Beal capable of running to open spots for threes. In Game 1, the Pacers gave up 20 fast break points, 18 of which came after turnovers. In Game 2, the fast break totals favored the Pacers 10-1 as Indiana only allowed one point off their eight turnovers.
These areas of improvement for the Pacers are the result of playing better, understanding their opponent better and giving a much better effort. Roy Hibbert in particular gave a much better effort which seemed to filter throughout the roster. Of course, that makes it easy to look at Hibbert's lack of effort when things haven't been going his way.
Check out this BBallBreakdown.com video of Hibbert's transformation in Game 2 and the effort required to get it done. Trying always helps.
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