Of all the things you can say about the Pacers so far this postseason (most of them either not in polite company or somehow describing them as “goons,”) at least you can’t say their coach isn’t confident and/or sane. Talking to the media during today’s shoot-around before Game 5 on the West Side, Frank Vogel dropped this nugget:
We feel like if we win this game tonight, we can win the series
That’s an adorable sense of self-confidence that would make a children’s book bestseller. Eat your heart out, Little Engine that Could! I remember a few years ago, when the Bulls went down 3-0 to the Pistons in the Eastern Semifinals, they stormed back to win Game 4 at the United Center and Game 5 in Auburn Hills and I legitimately felt they had a chance to be the first team down 3-0 to win a series in the NBA.
Of course, that didn’t happen, as the Pistons shellacked the Bulls in Game 6 to end any of that nonsense. The problem the Pacers have in overcoming the ridiculous odds is that they would have to soundly beat the Bulls 3 straight. That’s just impossible. The Bulls lost Saturday because they shot like shit all game, don’t care that Indiana has done a nice job being physical and playing the Bulls tough, they shot 15% from the three-point line, well under their 31.1% mark for the year. If two of those errant shots find the net, Bulls win 90-89 and they’d still have shot only 20%. This is what Indiana is facing, and yes, I know it hasn’t been the steamrolling we expected en route to the Bulls’ championship parade, but this is the growing pains of a young NBA team.
Elsewhere, the Hawks will try and overcome the odds and become the 4th NHL team to win a series after dropping the 1st 3. This is so much more common in hockey because literally, 1 player can carry his team on his back (or, in the case of Vancouver’s Roberto Luongo, crush his team). The Hawks could have easily lost Game 6, but Luongo let up a stupid rebound that the Hawks capitalized on. After that loss, and getting beat like a drum in Games 4 and 5, it’s a wonder what his mindset will be out there.
There’s been so much said about this game that I can’t add much more, but if you don’t know why people really, really dislike the Canucks, here you go:
Lastly, for all of you in Chicago not sure where to find your games, viola: http://www.csnchicago.com/pages/three_for_all