When it was announced that the Orlando Magic would enter the playoffs without their best player, Dwight Howard, it looked like the path was clear for the Pacers to move on to the second round of the NBA playoffs. The Pacers looked like a team that could use their depth and size to bully around Orlando. However, after a loss in game one, Indiana has already lost home court advantage and now they have to go to Orlando and take at least one of the next two games.
While game two was a blowout, it looked like the kind of game that many people thought they would see during the series, and the Pacers gained back the momentum, Indiana has learned that they can’t let the Magic hang around because even without Howard, the Magic can get hot from the field and they have enough talent to pull the upset in this series if the Pacers slip. Tyler Hansbrough joined 1070 the Fan in Indianapolis to talk about what changed for the Pacers from game one to game two, if he has to change his approach and temper his energy level at times, on the Pacers second unit, what the key will be to beating Orlando in game three, what the Pacers can do to make sure they end the series with the Magic quicker and how much David West has helped the Pacers.
On what changed for the Pacers from game one to game two:
“I think coach came in and really stressed rebounding at Halftime. I think that was the key for us in the second half. Just limiting their second shots and clean up the boards.”
If he has to change his approach and temper his energy level at times:
“Sometimes you do. If I know I’m going to play a long period or a long stretch I try to temper it down but usually I try to go out there and play my game. I usually don’t like to change my process going out there.”
On the Pacers bench:
“The second unit, we can either extend the lead or we can, you know it’s like hit or miss sometimes but yeah it does keep it a better flow. The second unit is a lot different than the starters because we like to push the ball, play more up-tempo and kind of with a reckless abandon. It is a little different and could be better for us.”
What the key will be as the series shifts to Orlando:
“I think we have to just limit their second shots and also keep them away from the three point line. I think it’s pretty tough.”
If they thought the series with Orlando was going to be easier without Dwight Howard:
“I like to look at it game by game but without Dwight we always thought they would be tough to guard just the way they spread the court and with the three point weapons they have out there. We thought it was going to be difficult so who knows? We don’t want it to go seven, we’d like to finish it early but they’re a deadly team and I can see them getting hot some nights.”
What David West has meant to the Pacers:
“He’s been big. He’s a leader, a big time leader on the team, he’s doing his thing and playing his part and it’s really helping us.”