During Saturday night's broadcast, Doris Burke let us know that Frank Vogel likes to show his team the infamous video of Buffalo Bills receiver Don Beebe, chasing down the ignominious Leon Lett in Super Bowl XXVII. While it had no affect on the outcome, the play is famous for Beebe slapping the ball out of a laboring Lett's hand, inches from the end zone. Lett wouldn't have been caught and fumbled, if he hadn't slowed down and taunted Buffalo, by sticking the ball to his side with his right hand. Lett had an illustrious career, but all anyone remembers is that play (and his Thanksgiving Game blunder.)
In the 90 - 69 Atlanta Hawks win, the Indiana Pacers were Leon Lett and the Hawks were Don Beebe. Lett, who is now defensive line coach for the Dallas Cowboys, should show his lineman tape of the Pacers blunderous Game 3 performance. Atlanta either caught Indiana sleeping after a long night at Magic City or the Hawks have their number at home. There may be some truth to that. Indiana hasn't beaten Atlanta at Phillips Arena since 2006.
In Games 1 and 2, the Pacers pulled away from Atlanta like Jamaicans in a 4x100 meter relay. Once the series shifted to Atlanta, the Pacers pulled up lame in the third leg. Game 3’s highlights were minimal, aside from a routine Josh Smith hammer slam and the buzzer sounding. The lowlights were the first 48 minutes.
The Pacers shot like they were throwing a marble into a thimble, making just 27 percent of their field goals and 16 percent of their treys. The Pacers added to the comedy by matching their 22 field goals with 22 turnovers.
Before Game 3, Larry Drew made the decision to go big, thereby shifting Al Horford to the four and it paid off. Horford finished with 26 points, 16 boards and frustrated David West the entire night. Unlike Lett, the Pacers can push this memory out of their minds in Game 4 on Monday.