With these Indiana Pacers, throw out any preconceived notions

After their total Game 1 win over the Miami Heat, nobody really knows anything about the Indiana Pacers anymore, writes Jonathan Raymond.
Roy Hibbert, right, and Paul George, left, of the Indiana Pacers celebrate during their win on Sunday night over the Miami Heat. Darron Cummings / AP / May 18, 2014
Roy Hibbert, right, and Paul George, left, of the Indiana Pacers celebrate during their win on Sunday night over the Miami Heat. Darron Cummings / AP / May 18, 2014

It’s time to stop thinking we know anything about the Indiana Pacers.

Throw out their regular season-ending swoon. The baffling results peppered into their first- and second-round NBA play-offs series victories. Even the title-contending form they showed at the beginning of the year.

After their complete Game 1 performance in a win over the presumptive title favourites Miami Heat, the Pacers seem capable of anything – good or bad.

This is team that stormed out to a lead they never relinquished over Miami in Game 1 by draining six of their first seven three-pointers. Then made two of their next 12.

These are the Pacers that never know whether they’re getting the good Roy Hibbert – who made 9-of-13 free throws on Sunday, scored 19 points and had nine rebounds in a crucial performance – or the bad Roy Hibbert, who put on a truly confounding zero-point, zero-rebound display against the Washington Wizards in Game 1 of their second round series.

This Indiana squad needed seven games to finish off the 38-win Atlanta Hawks. They followed up a 23-point loss in Game 4 against the Wizards with a 13-point win in Game 5 to close out the series.

These enigmatic Pacers finished the season on a 6-9 run with losses to the Knicks, Cavaliers and Bulls and wins over the Heat, Thunder and very same Bulls.

They could have been out of the play-offs by now. It has seemed like they were on the brink of one of the NBA’s historic collapses for about eight weeks now.

But here they are, leading the Miami Heat 1-0 in the Eastern Conference finals. They could win the next three games and pull off the most unthinkable sweep of all-time or lose the next four by a combined 50 points.

Nothing makes sense with these Pacers anymore. Nothing would surprise.

jraymond@thenational.ae

Follow us on Twitter @SprtNationalUAE

Published: May 19, 2014 04:00 AM

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