Game #15 Recap: The Monta Ellis Show

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Well, that sure was fun. Add one part another offensive no show for a full half with one part another 24-minute scoring outburst by the opposition, and voila’

Same soup, just reheated.

We’re too far removed from the game for this recap to be meaningful. But had I written it last night, I actually would have tried to focus on the positives. The negatives (can’t shoot, can’t hold on to the ball, can’t guard the pick and roll, can’t close out on shooters, can’t stay in front on Monta) that I would feel like I was patronizing you if I even took the time to point them out.

What you may not remember, however, is that the offense in the first half was actually fluid and fairly effective, by and large. It still wasn’t fantastic, mainly because there were still too many turnovers, but the team shot over 50% from the field for two straight quarters. And any time that happens for the  2009-10 Pacers, it’s worth noting.

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In other good news, Mike Dunleavy looked good, if a little sluggish, in limited first-half minutes. It’s remarkable how much better he makes the offense work just by being out on the court. Jeff Foster was a nice boost as well, putting in, I think, four buckets off of offensive rebound put-backs. His presence in the high post also provided a nice conduit for ball rotation and player movement. Most of the times he would catch at the elbow and turn opposite for a swing pass, the gears would start chugging along; cutters would find lanes and spot-up shooters would find space. At times, it all looked like it was supposed to. That was nice, and expected, to see.

Also nice to see was Danny not just camping out and taking threes. It seems he has figured out that half his threes this season have been as far off the mark as the “shots” we used to watch Marquis punt up at the rim for the past few seasons. His 7/17 shooting was far from impressive, but he got his ass into the paint. Even if he’s not converting there, I think it’s a place he needs to spend more time. He even got down on the block a few times. Seeing more of that would be phenomenal.

Then, as we all know, the second half arrived, and the Pacers continued coughing up the ball, only it became much more of a self-destructive problem because they stopped making shots and the Warriors were able to run out in transition (or at least “mini fast breaks”) not just on steals, but on long rebounds off missed shots as well.

Plus, ya know, Monta happened. And the next thing I knew, guys like Anthony Morrow and CJ Watson were looking like Stephen Curry’s dad and Dale Ellis out there. The floodgates opened and there was no remote feeling of hope that any resistance would stem the tide. None did.

But, like I said, that was like 24 hours ago now, and you already know what happened. Cornrows has a full rundown of places you can read more if you’re into the whole masochism thing. Honestly, the only thing I read anywhere about this game that I found interesting was this quote that Mike Wells got from Monta.

“My wife asked me to get 50 (points) tonight,” Ellis said. “I was pulling for it….When I fouled out she said, ’45 and win is cool with me,’ so I’m happy.”

Aaawww…How heart-warming. At least the Pacers, in being terrible, can bring families together. And that’s really what the holiday season is all about, isn’t it?

Moving on…

The reason this “recap” is coming at 12:30 am the day after the game wasn’t pure apathy or even lethargy — although both of those played a role. It is more so that, instead of wasting my time cataloging another epic Pacer failure, I tried to do something a little more productive today.

If you look to the right ( ———–> ), you should see something that says “State of the Pacers.” And underneath that is a boatload of stats and facts about the current Pacer season. I can’t promise this will be 100% up-to-date every day, but we’ll try to get the number numbers up as soon after the game ends as possible. And hopefully, all this will give you a one-stop place to get a good statistical overview of where the team stands. Let me know if there are any other numbers you would like to see included.

Below that, there is also a rundown of every game Indy has played so far, complete with links back to all the 8p9s content related to said game. Basically, you can just click that link and relive any game in all its real-timesque wonder — at least from our perspective anyway. I’m not sure how useful that is right now this early in the season — or if it ever will be for you at all — but I can easily foresee myself sitting around come March trying to remember “Hmm…was it Golden State or Dallas that thoroughly destroyed the Pacers towards the beginning of the season, essentially ending any hope I had that this team could make the Playoffs less than 20 games into the season? I wish there was somewhere I could check that out easily that wasn’t just AP recaps.” Now, I can just check in here and, after a few clicks, answer my question. (And, of course, the answer in this hypothetical scenario would be “Both.” Yay, team.)

There’s also an official 8p9s “Game Ball” given out to the MVP of each game that will be listed over there. Feel free to weigh in with your choice by sending me an email to [email protected] or just letting me know on Twitter @8pts9secs.

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This just in: We got stats. And, yes, I know this is more of a “graph” than it is a “stat,” but it came up in a Google Image Search for “stats,” so your beef is with Google, not me. Plus, it’s funny.

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