Sunday wasn’t the start the Atlanta Hawks were looking for in their series with the Indiana Pacers. Game 1 ended in a 107-90 blowout in the Pacers favor.
Hawks head coach Larry Drew was candid with his team after their defeat, if they didn’t play harder and more physical, their playoff run would be short-lived. Indiana outrebounded the Hawks 48-32, including 15 offensive boards alone. Roy Hibbert had six offensive rebounds in 33 minutes of playing time; The Hawks had just six as a team.
Paul George notched a triple-double in the first game of the series, and had more free throw attempts than the entire Hawks team. Points in the paint were also in the favor of the Pacers, 44-38.
With all that said, it’s not surprising that the Pacers took Game 1 easily at home.
Larry Drew had this today after the loss.
“It becomes a little bit mind-boggling, particularly when you get to the playoffs. You’re going to come up with schemes and ways to defend things … but the last thing you think you need to come up with is any kind of motivating to get the guys to compete and play at a high level.”
Everyone knows that the NBA Playoffs are a whole different animal than the regular season. Scoring numbers typically go down, and the defensive, half-court oriented, physical, scrappy teams prevail. Larry Drew hopes that his players take his criticism to heart, and have a better showing in Game 2.