Pacers’ funk deepens after Game 1 setback

Entering Game 1, some wondered if the No. 8 seed had a chance. Headed toward Game 2, a different question comes to mind: Can the No. 8 seed sweep?

The Indiana Pacers began the NBA Playoffs on Saturday night with a case to restate. All they did was reinforce the notion that has lingered for the past two weeks — the eighth-seeded Atlanta Hawks, as strange as it sounds, are superior to the team that was for much of the season the NBA’s finest.

Actually, the Pacers’ “malaise” has lasted for a couple months. And Saturday night’s 101-93 loss to the Hawks confirmed that Indiana is a lost team searching for answers.

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