Takeaways From Pacers-Raptors Game 5

Paul George shines as the bench falters.
Proof that Paul George is a superstar.

Mauling his way through the Raptors defense in game five on Tuesday, George gave Pacer fans an all-around show, putting up 39 points, eight assists, eight rebounds, and two steals. With that stat line, George joined elite playoff company to catapult him into the national spotlight he has always deserved. Only eight players have previously recorded a 39-8-8-2 showing, and that list includes guys named LeBron, Jordan, Bird, and Kobe.

The bench cost ‘em.

Up 13 to start the fourth quarter, Coach Vogel felt confident in his bench players to maintain the lead until the starters got some much-needed rest. Thirteen quickly dwindled to a 7-point lead in the first four minutes, with every Pacer on the court struggling to find any rhythm. The Toronto crowd made their presence felt and rattled the bench squad as they choked out only 2 points before the starters were reinstated. The North got loud. The Pacers scored only 9 points in the fourth quarter. The Raptors scored 25.

Vogel might be gone? 

We’ve seen the Pacers collapse in the fourth quarter far too many times this season, but none like this one. Even Mark Boyle, who has covered the team for nearly three decades, called it “the worst loss” in his 28 years. Fans hoped the meltdowns in the regular season would be a learning curve for this young, developing team, but obviously not. Due to a lack of shooters in a poor rotation that we saw fail the team in game two, the game, the moment, and possibly the series slipped from the Pacers. Going back to the well with these line-up disasters could lead to Coach Vogel’s demise. We’ll see what Larry has to say in the off-season.

Drake happened.

Drake—yes the singer-rapper-actor—certainly made sure everyone watching knew he was in attendance. After constantly taunting the Pacers (see the above tweet) from his courtside seats, he capped the night off with a major dis to Paul George: an Instagram post calling out George for not taking the final shot to send the game to overtime. He soon deleted it.