Man, I was really hoping to have some fun with this game. You know, enjoy the play of the young guys turned loose to see what they can do. But, the first half was so shocking I couldn't believe what my eyes were seeing. The Hawks scored 41 first quarter points and I'm still trying to remember if they actually missed a shot. They "only" shot 80% for the quarter so obviously they missed a couple but I don't seem to recall when.
The Pacers obviously didn't present a defensive challenge and ended up fouling like crazy, putting up around 20 fouls before the break. I was wondering before the game if Ike Diogu would score 20 points before fouling out. At the half he had 10 points and 3 fouls. The Hawks? They had 76 points at the half. Straight comedy.
This was the Hawks last game so they were probably a little revved up to finish with a solid effort. But these are the Hawks. At halftime they must've gone to the locker room and looked in the mirror because when they came out for the second half the Hawks began playing like the normal Hawks, only able to scratch out 14 third quarter points.
The Pacers were simply blah tonight. Not a surprise with every last bit of air sucked from their sails. Plus, shutting down J.O. and Foster for the night just sets a tone of submission. Still, I was hoping for some bright spots from the youngins but there wasn't much. The second half effort was commendable as the Pacers whittled the huge Hawks' lead down to eight but they couldn't get close enough to really challenge for the win. The game mercifully ended with the Hawks taking one last W, 118-102.
Oh, and Ike score his 20th point with one minute to go in the game. 23 seconds later he fouled out. I figured it would be close, but that was ridiculous.