3 Game 1 factors that could be crucial in Game 2 between Bucks and Pacers

Indiana Pacers v Milwaukee Bucks - Game One
Indiana Pacers v Milwaukee Bucks - Game One / Stacy Revere/GettyImages
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The Milwaukee Bucks had a strong start to the 2024 NBA Playoffs, beating the Indiana Pacers in a dominant performance carried mainly by Damian Lillard's strong first half.

With 35 points, he stunned Indiana and got all the headlines, but there were more key aspects that were equally impactfull in the outcome of the game. Some of them favored the Bucks and helped them build their big lead, while others hurt them and could be problematic in a closer game.

Now, we'll break them down and try to analyze how they could impact Game 2 of the series.

The slower pace between the Bucks and Pacers

The Pacers played with the second-fastest pace NBA-wide during the regular season and feel more comfortable when they can outrun opponents and score in a few seconds of a possession. That was one of the ways they beat the Bucks four out of five times in the regular season, so it was something Milwaukee was forced to focus on this game, and they did.

All five of those matchups were played at an average pace of 105.7 possessions per 48 minutes, four of them even going over 105, but it got a lot slower in Game 1. With only 97 possessions, the rhythm was way more manageable for Milwaukee, the oldest team and the one that could be in trouble if things start moving faster.

Games usually play slower in the postseason, but that doesn't mean the Pacers are going to be happy with this huge drop in speed. They'll probably try to push the pace a lot to start Game 2, either with Haliburton setting the tempo or players like Siakam trying to run in transition, so Milwaukee will have to cool things down. Sometimes, it's easy to just fall into this quick pace, and when you try to stop the game, it's already too late, so they'll need to emphasize this aspect before Tuesday's tip-off.

Not rushing the offense and not allowing easy transition baskets has to be part of the game plan, and if the Bucks succeed again, they will be closer to a huge win.