This was just an awful effort and performance by the Indiana Pacers. They just let the Los Angeles Lakers drive all over them in this game. Indiana was solid at Staples Center when they beat Los Angeles, 95-92. Their celebrating must have really pissed the team off, especially on their court. Now it was the Lakers turn, and led by Kobe “The Black Mamba” Bryant, Los Angeles’ revenge turned out successful in a 109-94 beating.
Indiana drops to 11-13, their first time they were two games under .500 for the whole season! But the Pacers shouldn’t worry. The Lakers had a slump and many other teams have had this, too. But if they brought the effort they showed last night, then I guess the Pacers fans need to prepare for another 32-50-like season. However, I expect Indiana to get right back on track when they face the Cleveland Cavaliers.
What really disappointed me is how poor Indiana was in rebounding. They have been in the top five for the season in rebounding, thanks to strong effort of Roy Hibbert. But he only had twelve points and six rebounds in this game. Like the Pacers’ slump, Roy Hibbert has sucked for the past few games and is showing the kind of playing he did when he first entered the league. James Posey led the team in rebounding, with seven. Darren Collison led the team with 17 points and six assists. Unsurprisingly, he had zero boards. We can excuse Danny Granger, as he had 13 points with a sprained ankle, but he showed be good to go after that. For the past few games, it was Mike Dunleavy leading the team, which is something you can’t be all too proud about.
Kobe Bryant had 31 points in the game, playing well. But there was one play where it showed Indiana had no courage to come back. Kobe just stood there as the Pacers players came running up the court. And even when a defender came up to him, Kobe waited and then took the shot a split-second later, which was a converted-three-pointer. Lamar Odom was simply dominant in the game, having 13 points and a whopping 17 rebounds. Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol bullied Hibbert consisently in the game.
“They had a real issue about it,” Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. “I think the Pacers came back and kind of celebrated in the hallways at Staples, and they remembered that, and they came back with that, ‘Let’s get after them.'”
And they did get at them, badly. The Lakers out-rebounded the Pacers like they were facing a division-three school, as they won in the rebounding competition 51-29. Gasol was dominant, like said earlier.
Gasol went 5 for 15 with five turnovers and five fouls in the previous meeting, but he set the tone in this one. Los Angeles made seven of its first eight shots and ran out to a 15-4 lead. The Lakers extended that advantage to 27-10 before Bryant even attempted a shot. They shot 73.7 percent in their best quarter of the season to lead 36-22 at the end of the period.
The Pacers got their first offensive rebound towards the last minute of the first quarter, which is definitely saying something. Please, Indy, never ever play like this again. It was just a terrible effort in this game.
The 7-18 Cleveland Cavaliers are up next. If you lose to them, at home, then there is a serious problem here.