Indiana Pacers 97, Philadelphia 76ers 107
It’s the weekend. I’m watching football. You’re watching football. What I’m getting at is that this recap will be pretty half-assed — much like the Pacers play last night.
Smoke Detroit on the road. Then lose to Philly at home. Makes perfect sense.
After getting down 6-0 to start, the Pacers actually played pretty darn good for about 12 straight minutes. The defense was forcing misses and Troy Murhpy was grabbing every rebound in sight (he had 10 boards in the first quarter). Earl Watson was making me rethink this whole “AJ should start” thing by running the offense rather well and even getting to the line himself for some points. Brandon Rush continued his solid play, going 6/9 from the field in the first half (and 2/3 from behind the arc.)
Then things slipped away. Thaddeus Young sparked Philly’s attack, and then Elton Brand, who was forced into several bad shots early and held to 3/9 shooting in the first quarter, started to abuse Troy and whoever else got in front of him. He started to look like 2005 Elton, which was probably just as surprising to Sixer fans as it was frustrating to Indy fans. Brand finished with 23 points and 4 offensive boards in the game, which combined with Samuel Dalembert’s 4 and some others gave Philly 16 offensive boards overall — compared to just 38 defensive boards for Indy. That’s a bad ratio.
By the time Troy made one of the dumbest inbounds passes I’ve ever seen (he cocked the ball back QB style and tried to make a three-quarters court pass upcourt so the Pacers could get another decent shot up before the half … but there were still 3-point-something seconds to go so there was no need for the Grant Hill-to-Christian Laettner-style heave — which got picked off and taken down the court for a layup by, I think, Marreese Speights), Philly was rolling. AI started playing rather well. Iggy was hitting threes (he went 3/4 in the game, which helped the Sixers go 7/11 from behind the arc as a team). And Young Thad (22 points on 16 shots) and Elton just kept getting easy baskets around the paint.
Indy would never get back in the game.
Danny actually had a really good third quarter himself (5/6 and a great-to-see 0/0 from three plus 4 boards and 3 dimes), but it was too late. No one else on the Pacers could do anything. Troy was particularly useless, finishing the game with an unimpressive 12 rebounds after recording 10 in the first quarter. Nice work in the opening period, dude, but you realize we play three more of these things, right? That was better than Roy Hibbert’s game at least, however, as he was a total no-show, shooting 1/6 with 4 rebounds. Yes, 4. According to the box score, Mike Dunleavy, Jr. also played in this game and supposedly took 9 shots, but I can’t really recall any of that happening. AJ Price eventually got into the groove (shot 5/8 for 17 points) and helped lead a nice faux-comeback with back-to-back threes on two possessions and just generally being productive with his dribble, but the Pacers couldn’t get any defensive stops so it probably wouldn’t have even helped if he was hitting 5-pointers. (It should be noted that AJ made a few really boneheaded plays in this game as well, as did Brandon, who had two obscene turnovers — one failing to catch a routine pass and another where he just inexplicably threw the ball directly out of bounds as if he was shaving points).
That’s all. Familiar story. Gross game.
Not even going to do the stats for this one. (Box score here, if you care.) Honestly, the only number you really need to see to know what happened is …
Interior Defense: 0
UPDATE: Just realized I failed to mention the 21 turnovers. Yeah, that happened, too. And, guess what? Didn’t help. Danny had 7 of em in this slopfest, but it was those two from Brandon and that one from Troy that provided the nice little microcosms for how well the offense valued the ball.
So, ummm, how bout them Colts?