Game 1 Reactions

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Evan Dunlap of Orlando Pinstriped Post:

"Hedo Turkoglu keeps Danny Granger in checkGranger scored 17 points for Indiana on Saturday, second only to David West on the team, but shot just 7-of-20 from the floor to get there. Much of the credit goes to Turkoglu, in just his second game back after undergoing surgery to repair fractures in his right cheek. Turkoglu is by no means an ace defender, but at 6-foot-10, he has enough of a size advantage on Granger, at 6-foot-8, to make the former All-Star’s life difficult offensively.Turkoglu certainly had help, however: nine of Granger’s 20 shot attempts came near the restricted circle, NBA.com’s stats tool says, but he converted only four of them. Clark, Anderson, and Davis helped shut the paint down when Granger got the step on Turkoglu, and when Turkoglu did manage to keep Granger in front of him, he did his best to force him into an awkward shot."

Philip Rossman-Reich of Orlando Magic Daily:

"This game was everything the Magic have not been the last month without Dwight Howard. The defense was strong and decisive, Orlando poking away at the basketball and closing out on shooters. Glen Davis did a great job pushing Roy Hibbert off his spot and making it difficult for him to get going offensively. The Magic were doubling the post hard and living with the Pacers beating them from beyond the 3-point line.That strategy is dangerous — Indiana did have three very good chances to close the game out with wide open 3-pointers from Paul George, Darren Collison and Leandro Barbosa in the final two minutes that all missed — but paid off."

Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel:

"“We all we got,” said Jason Richardson, repeating the phrase the team adopted as its motto.“Nobody believed in us. Nobody. All the ESPN analysts, all the sportswriters. In the eyes of the basketball world, nobody thought we have a chance in this series, of course, without Dwight.”It sure looked bleak in the fourth quarter. Orlando went almost five consecutive minutes without scoring a point, and after the teams traded baskets, Indiana took a 77-70 lead with 4:05 to go.Who knew then the Pacers wouldn’t score again?"

Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star:

"It’s a 48-minute game. Not 44 minutes. Not 46 minutes. It’s 48 minutes.The Pacers missed their final nine shots and turned the ball over twice after going up by seven points.“We’re a great 3-point shooting team and free throw shooting team,” coach Frank Vogel said. “We just didn’t make them tonight.”"

Jared Wade of Eight Points, Nine Seconds:

"We can continue to break down all the crunch-time screw-ups (the last major one being a poor decision by Collison to take a pull-up, long two-pointer with 13 seconds left and his team down three). But I have to think that the ending to this game was an anomaly that we won’t see again. You have to believe it was somewhat due to a young, excited team having jitters more so than some sign of things to come. Last year against the Bulls, the Pacers were famously unable to generate any offense down the stretch. So perhaps that same trouble could plague them again. The team is simply better this year so it probably won’t be as bad as it was against Chicago. But even it if is all postseason, it can’t be s bad as this performance tonight. No matter how much they “choke.” NBA teams simply cannot regularly go 4-plus minutes without scoring no matter how inexperienced or ineffective they are."

Nathan S. of Indy Cornrows:

"The concerning lack of mental toughness towards the end of quarters certainly carried over throughout the game as every positive push the Pacers had was met with a spirited and hungry Orlando team that seemed more than fed up with being completely disowned against a team that hadn’t so much as a won a playoff series. The understandable frustration definitely came full tilt for the Orlando Magic, and Indiana was left without an answer when it counted."

Stephen Ajamie of Always Miller Time:

"Some guys need to close out better on the shooters, but I think that will come around in game two. The Magic defense was good too, especially when they forced Danny Granger into a back court violation. Then the traveling call on him when Glen Davis was guarding him. But then again, this is a Granger who hadn’t played in a week, so he’ll need to turn his game around for game two."

Pace Miller of Pacers Pulse:

"For starters, Danny Granger. Granger spent a lot of time this season talking about how he no longer needed to force up shots because this was a team full of weapons that he could rely on. But in game one, all of that went out the window as Granger tried to be “the man” to show that this Pacers team does have a “closer” and “superstar” after all. Granger scored 17 points but took a team high 20 shots, converting only 7, committed 5 of the team’s 10 turnovers, and worst of all, shot just 1-4 from the foul line, including two huge misses with the Pacers up by 1 and with 1:14 left on the clock. Jason Richardson would go on to hit a big three and Jameer Nelson would hit two free throws to almost put the game out of reach."

(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger, ESPN Florida’s Magic Insider (http://ESPNFlorida.com) and is the co-host of the ESPNFlorida.com Insiders Show Sunday mornings at 10:00 am EST. Subscribe to his RSS feed, add him on Facebook and follow him onTwitter to follow him daily. You can download the HTD app here)