Slow starts, like Thursday's vs Timberwolves, holding Indiana Pacers back during key point in season


BIG INDIANAPOLIS — Last Thursday night, the Indiana Pacers were down a lot less than a quarter into the game, which is something they've been through a lot lately.

Yesterday, the Indiana Pacers played host to the Minnesota Timberwolves, and the Timberwolves were without their All-Star forward Karl-Anthony Towns despite the competition.

In addition, star guard Anthony Edwards injured his ankle seconds into the game, forcing him to the locker room. Indiana might suddenly create a cushion against a weakened Wolves club.

In fact, the opposite took place. Minnesota was ahead 10–2 after a few minutes of play. The blue and gold were down 10 points at 16-6 halfway through the first frame. 

The Timberwolves went ahead by 15 points in less than 10 minutes. Even though they were short-handed, the guests won the first game in Gainbridge Fieldhouse.

"The first quarter was a bust. It wasn't like we had attitude or personality when we came out. Made a big hole. "Our defence was bad," Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said after the game. 

Pascal Siakam agreed to move forward. "I believe we missed some shots." "We turned the ball over a few times, and we just didn't get into anything," he said, adding that it felt slow. "That can't happen."

Despite a strong final 100 seconds of the first quarter, the Pacers trailed 33-23. Despite missing two offensive players, they shot 44.4% with five turnovers and couldn't stop Minnesota. The opening frame was awful.

For 36 minutes, the Pacers were better. Their comebacks and scoreboard leads were numerous. The Timberwolves won 113-111 thanks to Edwards' last-minute heroics. After one quarter, Indiana was +8.

Rick Carlisle thinks his team gave the game away early. If they had started better, they wouldn't have needed to comeback or stop Edwards' clutch play.

Teams start games unevenly for many reasons. It's bad every time, but the Pacers are worried about it due to its frequency. Poor first quarter performance has sunk them multiple times in seven days.

They played the Pelicans in New Orleans last Friday. In the first quarter, the Pelicans scored on every shot they took, scoring 48 points. 13:26 into the game, they led 31.

The Pacers outscored the Pelicans 76-72 in the last 34:34, but their first quarter play eliminated them. Early in the game, New Orleans was on fire and shooting outrageous shots. Indiana should have done better.

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Slow starts, like Thursday's vs Timberwolves, holding Indiana Pacers back during key point in season