Work in Sports
Reactions: Pacers awaken
Indiana's true believers have hopes for comeback
Posted: Monday June 12, 2000 06:22 PM
CNNSI.com asked users to react to the Pacers' victory in Game 3 of the NBA Finals -- does Indiana still have a shot, or are they merely delaying the inevitable? Users were split, but many believe that Indiana has what it takes to make this a series. A sampling of your responses follow:
The Pacers are still alive and well! Although the Lakers still have the edge and have home court advantage throughout the remainder of the series, the Pacers can still win it all. However, they can only persevere if Rik Smits plays up to his potential. I think having the luxury of playing at home the Pacers can win games 4 and 5, even if Rik Smits has mediocre games, but unless he starts playing smartly against Shag, they won't have a chance when the series shifts back to LA, regardless of what Jalen and Reggie do. So, I hope he is saving his best for last and give Larry Bird that illustrious trophy that has eluded him for the last 14 years.
Shaq was the only player who showed up at this game for the Lakers and barely at best while the Pacers showed up in full force yet it went down to the wire. If and when the other Lakers players show up, and they will, the Pacers are finished. Just a short appearance by Kobe and the Pacers are down and out in 5 games.
The Lakers didn't seem to notice they lost the game. Attitude or lack thereof will kill them. By the time they leave the cornbelt they will be behind 3-2 and the Pacers will close it out 4-2.
I think the Pacers can take all 3 home games. There's no way the Pacers can win the last 2 games in LA, so they've got to win the 3 at home. I doubt that they can beat the Lakers 4 in row, therefore, give game 6 to the Lakers. I see the Pacers winning game 7 to take the championship!
The Pacers got off to a bad start, but I believe that they redeemed themselves in Game 3. Anyone who has followed Pacer basketball should know that Indiana is a team that performs best when they are in desperate situations. Obviously, game 3 was one of those times. Indiana came out with fire and passion and L.A. came out like the series was already sealed! The officials finally made some calls on Shaq (travelling, 3-seconds in the lane) that they have "overlooked" in previous games. The Pacers, though, all showed up and came hungry for a win! As the series has progressed, the Lakers play has deteriorated and the Pacers play has become more dominating. I look for the Pacers to play better in the next few games.
The Lakers had they pulled together in the 4th quarter, would have won Game 3. Once Kobe comes back it will be a different story. Look for Miller in Game 4 to be a non factor. Lakers will inevitably win this series in 5 games.
Saying that the Pacers win delays the inevitable is silly. Homecourt has meant everything to the Pacers, and there is no sign of them letting down at home. Obviously anything can happen, but if the Pacers can hold on at home, then the pressure is on the Lakers to hold up there home court as well. The finals format is strange. On one hand it is good for the Lakers, they come to Indy with a 2-0 lead, but if the Pacers hold up at home, they go to L.A. with a chance to wrap up the series at 3-2. Anything can happen!
Indy's win in Game 3 neither turned the series around, nor prolonged their inevitable elimination. The Pacers have been waiting to demonstrate that they are true players for the NBA title, and they didn't meet that challenge in the first two games. Many Indiana fans, like myself, are skeptical that the Pacers can take it all the way. However, we're all more than willing to let them prove it to us. Indy's Game 3 win is a sign that they *can* turn the series around and win a championship. They haven't turned that corner yet - that point comes when they go back to L.A. leading the series 3-2.
I think that the Pacers are going to definitly lose to the Lakers. The Pacers should not have even beat the Knicks and that was all luck. You can count on Reggie Miller choking in the next couple of games like he did in games 1 and 2.
Indiana played their best basketball on Sunday, and the Lakers nearly came back to win even without Kobe. The only thing that Indiana proved was that L.A. is not just a one man team. I think that L.A. can win without Kobe if they need to.