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Indiana Pacers v Milwaukee Bucks - Game One

Source: Stacy Revere / Getty

The Indiana Pacers went into their series against the Milwaukee Bucks feeling confident, having ended the regular season with a nice run and comfortable in the knowledge that, at least for the first game, they wouldn’t have to face Giannis Antetokounmpo, who was out with a calf injury. 

That confidence was quickly swept away, with the Bucks dominating the Pacers from the start and getting the Game 1 victory 109-94. Outside of Pascal Siakam, who finished with 36 points, and to some extent Myles Turner, who finished with 17, the Pacers looked sloppy, low-energy, and unmotivated. Tyrese Haliburton, the engine that makes the Pacers go, only scored 9 points on 7 total shot attempts.  

Basically, it was the worst possible performance at the worst possible time for Indiana. It’s currently unknown when Giannis will return, which made Game 1 all that more important for the Pacers to win. They absolutely had to take advantage of his absence; instead, with him on the bench, they got worked over.  

The Pacers will have a short turnaround before they get another opportunity to get even against the Bucks, with Game 2 set for Tuesday. If they don’t want their playoff run to end in a short, and somewhat humiliating fashion, they’ll have to use that small window to wake up and get their heads right. Otherwise, the offseason awaits.  

During Monday’s edition of The Ride With JMV, Evan Sidery of Forbes Sports joined the show, where he spoke about what the Pacers have to do to get back on track against Milwaukee.  

“Haliburton’s got to get going again. He’s got to get aggressive offensively, the balls got to be moving faster on offense, and he’s just got to be back to the player we saw in December that was decimating this same Bucks team, even with Giannis on the court, and he was the best player on the floor in that game. He’s just got to have that superstar type of switch flip back for him.” 

Evan and JMV also spoke about much more, including: 

  • The performance of Pascal Siakam 
  • When Giannis might return 
  • How big Game 2 will be for the Pacers

Listen to the full conversation and more down below, and tune into The Ride With JMV weekdays from 3-6pm on 93.5/107.5 The Fan! 

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