This game was rather of a disappointment to me, and of all Indiana Pacers fans. The Pacers were rolling through the first half, playing solid like usual when at home in Conseco Fieldhouse. They went on towards a 60-52 lead, including 40 points in just the second quarter! However, the Milwaukee Bucks defense stood up, holding the Pacers to 30 points coming into the second half. This is how Milwaukee went on to go 2-4, as the Indiana fell to 2-3, sinking lower into the Central Division.
The Pacers had made eleven-of-their-18 shot attempts in the second quarter, but they ended up acting like they were shooting bricks, going ten-of-34 in the second half!
“We got a lot more active,” said John Salmons, who led the Bucks with 22 points. “We played the defense we like to play. Our defense carried us, and it was a good win.”
Roy Hibbert was expecting a good match-up from Andrew Bogut, but he ended up not being with a team due towards a migraine headache. Instead, power forward-type player Luc Mbah a Moute ended up playing center, and he intimidated Roy Hibbert. This may be rather of a disappointment. Mbah a Moute ended up with ten points and 15 rebounds. Hibbert, although he did finish up with 14 points and twelve rebounds, was held to four-of-eleven from the floor. He also ended up with six turnovers alone.
“I’m just happy we won,” Mbah a Moute said. “Bog was out, and I had to go out and bring energy, especially on the defensive end.”
Brandon Jennings isn’t at his best this season. He is so far averaging 14 points per game, a lot less than what we expected. However, Jennings managed to score 18 points, despite going seven-of-19. But he thought he was enough to help the Bucks win.
“Instead of me just trying to figure out everybody else’s game and trying to set back for other people on the team, I’m just going to have to play like I played last year, and that’s just be more aggressive like I was tonight,” he said. “Take shots, and hey, if I miss them, I miss them. If I make shots, that opens up things for everybody else.”
The Pacers had one last shot in the fourth quarter to win, but they failed.
“We had some good looks in the fourth quarter that didn’t go down, and they out-scrapped us,” Indiana coach Jim O’Brien said.
Danny Granger and Darren Collison led the team with 19 points. They have lost two straight games now. I really just hope the Pacers can’t make this deja-vu just like last season. I at least want the ninth seed, none less. That is at the wosrt Indiana should finish. But hey, it’s just five games, anything could go any way.
The Pacers did pretty good in third quarter, showing great signs from rookie Paul George. George made up for his first three missed shots earlier in the game, but he went on for a bunch of three’s, helping Indiana get towards a 76-67 lead. They would lead by six at the end of the third. As the fourth quarter came, it looked as if it was all over, as Indiana couldn’t get things clicking at all.
“We just didn’t get the job done tonight,” Hibbert said, who also had six blocks. “Coming down the stretch, we were bad. I didn’t clog the middle the way I should have, which hurt us. The Bucks are a good team, I’m not taking anything away from them, and I’m going to have to hold myself accountable for this loss.”
Mike Dunleavy had a good performance, finishing with eleven points and nine rebounds. James Posey had nine points and four rebounds, T.J. Ford had two points and two rebounds, Tyler Hansbrough had six points and two rebounds, and George finished with a career-high ten points and three rebounds.
Indiana faced the 3-2 Denver Nuggets next on Tuesday night. It will be at home. It’s Danny Granger versus Carmelo Anthony. Oh boy! I see a good game in hand. Indiana isn’t all that bad right now.
They are so far tied for first place in the Central Division with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Chicago Bulls. I see a good home game in for them. Fans, don’t be surprised if there is a win, even if it is the Nuggets.
The season isn’t over. The Pacers know that.