The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Sports

May 2, 2014

Pacers welcome first Game 7 to Indy

(Continued)

So history is a Pacer fan. History might as well be wearing a Blue Collar, Gold Swagger t-shirt.

The question is, does history mean anything in this most peculiar postseason of 2014?

Home court advantage has seemingly gone the way of the phone booth. Take the Pacers and Atlanta Hawks. The home team is 2-4, and has lost three in a row. "They know as well as anybody that they can beat us on our floor," Paul George was saying of the Hawks, who have built 20-point leads three of their last four games in Bankers Life Fieldhouse. "We're not scaring them in that aspect."

It would appear hardly anyone in the league is scaring its visitors. Road teams are 23-19 so far in the playoffs. Chicago's United Center, with the Michael Jordan statue by the door? The Bulls went 0-3 there against the Washington Wizards.

It's one reason why this postseason has been so exhausting, and it's barely begun. That, and the Oklahoma-Memphis series and Portland-Houston series producing seven overtime games between them.

Game 7. The best thing about it is, there is no Game 8. It verifies, ratifies, qualifies and clarifies.

Game 7 is its own universe. Nothing much that's happened before counts. The two teams have gone thisaway, and thataway, and ended up back in the same place, where the series began, even up.

It doesn't matter that of Indiana's two 2014 All-Stars, George scored 24 points Thursday night and Roy Hibbert has scored 24 points in the entire series.

It doesn't matter that the Hawks have built a camp at the line, making 36 more free throws through six games.

It doesn't matter how the Pacers were humbled at home in Game 1, and crumbled at home in the first half of Game 5.

"We should be ready for this moment," George said Friday on his 24th birthday. "They're in trouble because I'm going to have a lot of energy."

One night makes it all better, or makes it all worse. One night gives a team another series, or shows it the door. That's why the league loves them, and the networks yearn for them.

Game 7. Welcome to Indianapolis.

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