Sorry for the delay on this. But, really, did you need me to break this one down for you? I called Carrie White of the book/movie Carrie for comment on last night’s game and she said, “now that’s a bloodbath.”
You really can’t blitz a team out the box any more than the Pacers did in the first quarter. They stunned the Raps with head shots in the form of threes, drives to the hoop, excellent ball movement and stingy defense, leaving the pro ballers from Canada reeling helplessly on the ropes for the rest of the contest. It truly was a pleasure to watch such wonderful execution on both ends of the floor.
Danny Granger and Darren Collison set the tone early, each getting to the hoop and finishing twice in the initial six minutes. Danny added a three during that stretch, too, and would add another before he went to the bench with 10 points for a rest. Even in Granger’s absence, the team extended the lead, finishing the quarter up 31-18.
The Pacers have blown plenty of leads over the past year — including dropping a clunker to Phoenix last Friday despite leading by double-digits. Still, you could just tell that this game was over by the first 12 minutes.
And if that wasn’t enough for some skeptics, the second quarter should have erased all fears. Indy made its first five shots of the period — four of them coming from behind the arc — to extend the margin to 45-21. In all, they would convert on 9 of the 13 they took in the first half. Brandon Rush personally stuck 6 of his 8 attempts on his way to a season-high 26 points off the bench. Shooting like that tends to put the game out of reach.
To achieve this, the shooting was of course deadeye, but the ball movement was also wonderful — something that you could truly only appreciate by watching the game but that the 33 assists they logged on 47 field goals also illustrates well numerically.
“That’s the key to the offense, moving and cutting and playing through multiple people,” Ford said. “It’s tough to guard us when so many guys are passing the ball. It puts pressure on everybody.”
After the first half assault, the second was academic. They played it out since the NBA is kind of a stickler for that but Toronto never threatened a comeback.
All in all, helluva game for the blue and gold. You’re not going to get many of these.
Be sure to enjoy it.