We finally saw first signs of the new Indiana Pacers. However, it was just a pre-season game. In their opener, versus the Memphis Grizzlies, Indy fell in a 87-85 close loss.
Roy Hibbert played very well, bringing in 18 points and ten rebounds. Many were looking for the signs of his growing offensive game along with himself being a better overall center after learning a few tricks and skills from legendary NBA center, Bill Walton
Rudy Gay scored twelve points while O.J. Mayo scored ten for the Memphis Grizzlies. Hasheem Thabeet had ten points and five rebounds.
Hibbert helped the Pacers late in the game, almost helping them taking this game home and winning it. Hibbert made a tip-in shot to get the Pacers within a 86-85 deficit with just 44.7 seconds to go. But first-round draft-pick Xavier Henry helped end the game with free throws to help Memphis seal the deal with a win with 0.4 seconds left.
“We’re a work in progress,” Gay said. “We did pretty good. Closed the game pretty good, but we turned the ball over a lot.
“It’s the first game. We have to take care of those urges. Everybody wants to go out there and do their best, but you have to pick and choose your spots.”
Hibbert was hard to stop for the Pacers.
“I think I could have played stronger,” Hibbert said. “I was really nervous before the game, and (it’s good) to get the first one out of the way.”
Josh McRoberts, who could win the starting power forward job this season, played well with 14 points. Point guard A.J. Price had twelve points.
The Pacers saw great things from their big men, especially in Hibbert and McRoberts, who both really contributed and played hard.
“I’m sure we did some good things, and there are things we can study like turnovers and really feeding the post, tempo,” Pacers coach Jim O’Brien said. “We didn’t do the things that we practiced, but we will clean them up.”
Indy will face the Orlando Magic next, tomorrow night.