Game 1 Recap – Indiana vs Orlando

Posted by By at 2 May, at 18 : 41 PM Print

Game 1 Recap – Indiana vs Orlando

Orlando came into this series as underdogs without star center Dwight Howard who is out with injury. Indiana came in as first time favourites in a playoff series since a long time ago. There were many questions hanging over this series.

- Will Indiana be able to handle being favourites?
- Will Orlando, with nothing to lose, come out as winners?
- Will Indiana win, in spite of the fact they don’t have a ‘go-to-man’?
- Will Orlando be able to cover the loss of Howard?

However after this game, more questions arose! They won’t be answered until the end of this potentially 7 game series!

In this game, Orlando came out as winners, beating Pacers, 81-77. Even though it looked dark for Orlando, they strung together an 11-0 run, mostly thanks to J-Rich’s two timely treys at the end to win by 4. Pacers’ star, Danny Granger had a few opportunities to win, he missed two free throws, missed a three pointer and lastly travelled to rob their chance hitting back.

Indiana Pacers’ worst fears came true as Orlando fired 9 out of 24 three pointers to keep them in the game with Jason Richardson scoring 5 out of 8. Because Orlando lost Dwight, they lost that strong inside presence and needed to rely heavily on good ball movement and good shooting which was expected to be difficult with Indiana’s size.

Glen Davis, replacing Howard in the center, held his own and collected 16 points and 13 rebounds, despite giving away a lot of height compared to Hibbert’s 7 foot 3 frame.

This game was very important for Indiana to win so they can keep homecourt and feel confident and comfortable in their ability to play playoff games. That didn’t show in this game as Orlando stole the homecourt, breaking the hearts of every Pacer fan. Orlando won due to their execution, ball movement and because Indiana didn’t shoot when they needed to.

Pacers Coach Frank Vogel is not panicking after their loss. “We understand it’s a series and we have a chance to respond. We’re a great 3-point-shooting team and free throw-shooting team. We just didn’t make them tonight. We didn’t execute in crunch time.”

The attention turns to Roy Hibbert who was expected to have a fantastic series due to Dwight Howard’s absence. But Glen Davies kept him away from the low post and continuously forced him outside his comfort zone as he scored 8 points on a 3 for 11 shooting night. If Hibbert can change that, then he can join David West, who was dominant with 19 points (8-14) to create havoc for Magic.

Magic will need to execute better if they expect to win this series. They cannot win four games by just scoring 81 points because they are without Defensive player, Howard. Magic can take heart knowing they won without must input from rising star, Ryan Anderson who scored only 5 points and pulled 6 rebounds. If Anderson can click in his offensive game and stretch Indiana, then Indiana will have to play far better.

Game 2 is on Monday and Magic are not getting content with just winning one game on the road, while Indiana will be looking to gain redemption. Tune in

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