NBA Playoffs Round 1 Round-Up: Indiana Pacers (3) defeat the Orlando Magic (6) 4-1
Finally, the series nobody really wanted to see is over. No offense to either team, but unless you’re a Pacer fan or a Magic fan, no way you really had any desire to watch this series.
After a somewhat peculiar first game upset where Orlando won 81-77, the Pacers finally came to play, taking the next four games for the gentleman’s sweep. The Pacers decidedly took all but one win with blowouts, and the only close win (101-99 OT) came with a big game from their big offseason acquisition of David West.
Orlando was without their superstar Dwight Howard, who was giving the team problems with his horrible PR decisions anyway. His absence prompted Stan Van Gundy to put Glen Big Baby Davis alongside Ryan Anderson as the starting big men. So basically, David West and Roy Hibbert were able to get whatever they wanted. Coming this summer, we might finally get some questions answered regarding SVG’s coaching job or Dwight Howard’s trade request (in my opinion? Keep Van Gundy, trade Howard). All I can say is that I wouldn’t want to be a Magic fan right now (sorry, y’all).
I actually really like this Pacers team. Paul George’s and Roy Hibbert’s improvements have helped them both offensively and defensively. Danny Granger can do less now on the offensive end with the additions of George Hill, Leandro Barbosa, and David West. Their bench is scrappy and they all work hard. And Frank Vogel has shown that he can be a really good coach. I honestly think that they are only a couple of steps away from being real contenders in future years (another year or two of Paul George’s growth and a consistent starting point guard) and that should be exciting.
The Pacers will face the winner of the Heat vs. Knicks series… which means they will be facing the Heat. Roy Hibbert should be getting whatever he wants, but the Lebron vs. Granger matchup should be a lot of fun to watch.