There weren't many memories to log from the Pacers first-round win over the Atlanta Hawks but that defense in the final 2:40 of regulation which left the Hawks scoreless and included blocked three pointers and little to no air space for the home team, that was pretty sweet.
With each stop you could feel a release of pressure as the Pacers really went for the kill the only way they know how -- by defending. Yes, David West scored a couple of key buckets and they made free throws, but the Pacers go-to-guy down the stretch wasn't on offense it was a five-man amoeba working together to blanket the Hawks after Atlanta had worked their way back into the game.
Looking ahead to the Knicks, that same type of defensive effort is the only way the Pacers have a chance to advance to the conference finals. The Knicks can score while the Pacers struggle to score, thus the Pacers will need to guard the arc and find a way to keep Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith from going off as they did throughout April.
This should be fun!
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