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