News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Sports

May 12, 2014

Confident Pacers look to finish off Wizards

INDIANAPOLIS — Suddenly, Indiana has regained its swagger.

Roy Hibbert is smiling and confident. Paul George is posting double-doubles and confounding Washington’s guards. The defense is contesting shots and forcing the Wizards into mistakes, and even when things don’t go right, the Pacers still find ways to win.

They haven’t played like this in months, but the timing couldn’t be better. Win tonight against Washington and the rejuvenated Pacers will make a second straight trip to the Eastern Conference finals.

“It has been a while,” coach Frank Vogel said of his team’s surge. “We’ve had a lot of guys, and it’s been well documented, down the stretch they’ve had individual struggles that have impacted the team, the team was in a little bit of a rut.”

Less than two weeks ago, Indiana’s second-half struggles seemed to be headed toward a full-on collapse. As a No. 1 seed, the Pacers trailed the eighth-seeded Atlanta 3-2 in the first-round.

When the Pacers won those last two games to get past Atlanta, there was no respite. Indiana gave away home-court advantage with an inexplicably poor Game 1 loss. There was speculation about Vogel’s job security, talk of the necessity of benching Hibbert and perhaps trading the All-Star center in the offseason, and why Larry Bird’s midseason moves messed up the team chemistry.

Indiana has responded over the past week by playing its best basketball in at least two months.

The Pacers have won six of eight, three straight in this series and three straight on the road.

With a 3-1 lead in this best-of-seven series, they find themselves right where everyone expected at the start of the season, on the verge of reaching the conference finals.

“We’ve got to respond. We’ve got to step up now,” said Wizards coach and Indy native Randy Wittman. “All of us got to come out with the mindset that this is going to be, not only from an individual standpoint but from a team standpoint, this is going to be our best game that we’re going to play in this series.”

That’s not going to be easy.

On Sunday night, the Wizards blew a 19-point second-half lead, missed their final eight shots and wound up losing by three. The Wizards best player, John Wall, is shooting 31.4 percent from the field and is 1 of 11 on 3-pointers in this series. He’s had 12 turnovers in the last two losses, too.

“He’s just got to keep on fighting through it and the main thing is keeping his confidence and staying aggressive in what he’s doing out on the floor. That’s who he is,” Wittman said. “You can’t all of a sudden become someone else.”

Hibbert sure has.

After starting the series with a zero-point, zero-rebound game, he’s rebounded with 19.7 points, 7.7 rebounds and 2.3 blocks in the last three games, which has made a huge difference.

Teammates are getting better looks because of Hibbert’s post presence on offense, and the rim protecting Hibbert has helped the Pacers defense limit Washington to a 79-point average over the last three games. He knows the Pacers can’t afford to stop now.

“We can’t relax. I don’t know what the statistics are, but we don’t want to be one of those (teams that blows a 3-1 lead),” he said. “So we’ve got to go out there and play our best game back home. They’re going to give it their all again and hopefully we’ll be ready.”

Indiana’s biggest question might be fatigue. Four of their five starters played at least 39 minutes in Game 4 including George, who logged 46 minutes.

That’s one reason Vogel gave his players Monday off — even with a potentially deciding game looming Tuesday. But after all they’ve been through, Vogel figures his players have earned it.

“It’s been in the back of my mind, but these guys have played in the high 30’s and in the 40’s before,” Vogel said. “I think they’ll be OK.  I think if our guys were all playing 28 or 30 minutes we could probably work in some more practice.”

Tonight’s game

• Matchup: Washington Wizards at Indiana Pacers in Game 4 of NBA Eastern Conference semfinals; Pacers lead best-of-seven series 3-1

• When, where: Today, 7 p.m., Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis

• TV: TNT

• Radio: WWBL-FM 106.5, WNDI-FM 95.3, WREB-FM 94.3

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
Degano2.jpg

Local Interest
SPT 072614 TOM JONES LEADER.jpg

Tribune-Star/Bob PoynterLeader: Tom Jones is leading going into Sunday's final round of the Men's City Championship at Hulman Links on Sunday.

High School
College
Degano2.jpg

  • Bullpen mates: Three relievers coming on strong down stretch for Rex

    The Terre Haute Rex pitching staff ranks fifth among the 12 teams in the Prospect League in earned-run average this season and first in the league with only four home runs allowed all summer. But the Rex pitchers might be the best in the league the past two weeks as the team has had two shutouts and two games with one run allowed in the past week.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • Prettyman wants ISU to be prepared for potential NCAA changes

    Against a rising tide of media, public and institutional sentiment that would suggest otherwise, Indiana State Director of Athletics Ron Prettyman believes that the current model of college athletics still works.

    July 26, 2014

  • ISU basketball trio earn national academic honors

    A trio of Indiana State basketball student-athletes have been named to the 2013-14 National Association of Basketball Coaches Honors Court as announced by the national organization. Honored from Indiana State were Lucas Eitel, Justin Gant and Jake Kitchell.

    July 23, 2014

  • Metro roundup: Post 346 rallies past Rockville

    Wayne Newton Post 346 scored a run in the sixth and two in the seventh to get past Rockville 6-3 in an American Legion baseball regional at Terre Haute North on Wednesday.

    July 23, 2014

  • Truebytower.jpg Memorable experience in Morocco for ISU soccer team could help team's growth

    Coming off the best season in its history, the Indiana State women’s soccer team figures to have the experience to do even better in the upcoming fall season.
    Or maybe that’s #TheExperience.

    July 23, 2014 11 Photos

Sports Columns
Pro Sports
Colts Camp Football_Tayl.jpg

Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano, right, laughs with running back Chris Rainey during an NFL football training camp in Anderson, Ind., Saturday, July 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Terre Haute Rex
Degano2.jpg

Colts
Colts Camp Football_Tayl.jpg

Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano, right, laughs with running back Chris Rainey during an NFL football training camp in Anderson, Ind., Saturday, July 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Auto Racing
AP Auto Racing News
Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Airstrike Shatters Fragile Calm in Gaza Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Mother of 2 Makes NFL Cheerleading Squad at 40 The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Trial Begins Over OKC Bombing Video Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Violent Clashes Between Libyan Militias Today in History for July 28th Thousands at Peace Rally in Tel Aviv Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma
NDN Video
'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity
Real Estate News