The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Sports

May 5, 2014

Pacers must leave Hawks behind

(Continued)

But there we go again, talking about yesterday. And yesterday doesn’t count.

Or does it?

George put the Wizards aside long enough Sunday to consider what surviving the Hawks series, and all the incoming shots from the outside world, might have done for this team.

“They were the eighth seed and it showed us if we’re not on our game, anybody can beat us. That’s what we took away from it,” he began. “Playoff basketball is about playing perfect, one possession at time, one game at a time, and we didn’t value that. I think it raised our antennas and sharpened us up.

“We feel like the swagger’s coming back. But it’s not back yet.”

That’s the hot phrase at the moment for the Pacers, by the way. Raising their antennas. Or as David West said of the Monday assignment against Washington, “Game 1 is the most important game of the series. We’ve got to come out with our antennas up. We just want to carry what we did last night into that game.”

So is Hibbert’s antenna up and fully functional again? No one endured more in the first round than he, as the voices in the streets rose to yank him from the lineup.

Vogel and his teammates stuck by him, and he repaid them with a strong Game 7. The Indiana hope is that was a permanent return from all the days spent in a fog, when for whatever reason he could not have hit the Pacific Ocean standing on the shore.

“Roy Hibbert is a big brother and been someone who’s been in my corner when things weren’t going well for me,” George said. “I was always in his ear and his corner, telling him to stay confident.

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