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Though they have won 12 games this season and lost just one, the Pacers have rarely been dominant for any full 48-minute period. In fact, in 13 games, they have led at the half just three times.

So instead of running roughshod over the competition all game long, they have generally followed an eerily repeatable recipe for success.

Step 1 – Play first quarter to taste
Step 2 – Get manhandled in second quarter
Step 3 – Perform secret Pagan ritual at halftime — perhaps involving an animal sacrifice
Step 4 – Crush the opponent’s soul in the third quarter.
Step 5 – Win

That’s my guess anyway. The other possibility is that Frank Vogel and his minions are big fans of the rope-a-dope strategy employed by Muhammad Ali vs. Foreman in the ”Rumble in the Jungle.”

Of the 10 times in 13 games that the Pacers have trailed at the half, they have won nine times by controlling the second half. In friday’s rendition of this script, for example, Indiana hung a 25-8 third quarter on the Celtics en route to a 55-32 second half and a 97-82 victory.

That beatdown in Boston – on its own – isn’t particularly mystifying. The Celtics are young, undersized and clearly rebuilding. Matters for them weren’t helped any when they lost Kelly Olynyk to injury, but even with the rookie center, they really are no match for Indiana right now.

http://www.eightpointsnineseconds.com/2013/11/the-pacers-odd-recipe-for-near-undefeatedness/
 

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That was almost exactly the Bulls' recipe for winning 72 in 1996. Soul-stealing 3rd quarters were their specialty.
 

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King George
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I'd like to see a breakdown of how many more minutes the starters play together in the second half vs. the first.

We seem to make better adjustments to our strategies in the second half than we ever have before. I don't think Vogel has ever been good at changing things up in the past, could it be a McMillan thing or we are just getting better?
 

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First Half minutes for all Indy starters:

Hill - 16.6
Lance - 16.5
George - 16.4
Hibbert - 15.6
West - 14.3

Second Half minutes for all Indy starters:

George - 20.2
Lance - 18.1
Hill - 16.0
West - 15.5
Hibbert - 14.1

5-man Units for starters only:

First Half - 8.9 minutes
Second Half - 9.2 minutes
 

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King George
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11,475 Posts
First Half minutes for all Indy starters:

Hill - 16.6
Lance - 16.5
George - 16.4
Hibbert - 15.6
West - 14.3

Second Half minutes for all Indy starters:

George - 20.2
Lance - 18.1
Hill - 16.0
West - 15.5
Hibbert - 14.1

5-man Units for starters only:

First Half - 8.9 minutes
Second Half - 9.2 minutes
Interesting, thanks!
 

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one of the biggest reasons for the great success (i believe) is the vastly improved bench. we now have a bench that we can put in and it is no longer a case of how long can we leave them out there before they dig the starters an inescapable hole?
we have 2 capable backup points and a pf that can hit those midrange jumpers and add that mahinmi is playing his best ball this year and it makes a tremendous difference.
our bench is perfectly capable of hanging with many teams starters and sticking it to their benches.
usually by mid-way through the 3rd, the other team is getting gassed and we pull away.
that is what i have been seeing at least.
 
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