From West: "We didn't show up tonight. I don't know if we thought we were just going to come in here and these guys would roll over."
From Paul George: "They played desperation basketball, and we played like it was going to be easy."
But this postseason is not going to be easy for the Pacers. Not a day of it. Not with a team that sways, first one direction, then the other.
Still, there are still two reasons to keep calm and carry on. One, Frank Vogel was correct in noting that. "it's one loss, whether you lose by 20-something or you lose by one point." Washington, down 3-2, remains the team with no margin for error. It was Marcin Gortat — fresh off outscoring Roy Hibbert 31-4 and outrebounding him 16-2 — who mentioned, "I have a feeling that we'll feel the pressure at home on Thursday."
And two, though the Pacers have been atrocious when they should have been better, they have yet to be atrocious when they absolutely had to be better. They have not yet had a fatal breakdown. What goes down has always come back up. So far.
"We have to watch the film, watch what we can improve on," George said of the Pacers' pre-Game 6 plans. "It should be glaring."
The Pacers will now get nationally re-ripped, but they're used to the noise. If all else fails, there is always Game 7 at home, a la Atlanta.
But they have lost any chance for rest before the Miami series — if there is a Miami series — and they have opened themselves to new charges.
What does it say that they came home with all the momentum, but trailed by 30 points?
What does it say that they lost only six times in 41 regular season home games, but are 3-4 in the postseason?