Game #30 Preview: Getting Right Against Washington

Indiana Pacers @ Washington Wizards
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
7:00 pm EST
Verizon Center
Washington, DC

OK, Roy. It’s time to get it together. Really, it’s past time to get it together. You have played atrociously for the better part of a month now, and your offensive performance since December 11 has been an utter joke. No guy with your size, footwork and touch around the hoop should be capable of shooting 34-for-107 (32%) over an eight-game stretch. Thirty-two percent. Seriously? Even John Salmons is laughing at you. (h/t Mike Wells)

Danny Granger, you haven’t been much better. Only twice have you shot above 40% in a game during December. Twice. Two times. Overall, you’re shooting 36% for the month and a miserable 27.8% from three. As with Roy’s shooting woes, such a number seems impossible for you to shoot for this long. Moreover, it is almost amazing in a you-ate-a-whole-wheel-of-cheese kind of way that you continue to launch so many treys even while converting at a Marquis Daniels-level success rate. But sure enough, only twice have you chucked up fewer than 5 three-pointers in your last 13 games (and make that 20 games dating back to November, during which you were admittedly shooting well). I will give you credit for attacking the paint a little more; you have gotten to the line an average of 8.5 times per night over your last four games. But you are also 26-for-83 (31.3%) from the floor over that same stretch, so let’s not break out the leftover spiked eggnog and start testing the New Year’s noisemakers in celebration just yet.

How about you, Darren Collison? What is it you would say you do out there? It’s December 28 and you haven’t even recorded 8 assists in a single game. Not one. Zero times. And you haven’t scored more than 18 points in a game since November 9. You had 12 games of 20 or more last year after the All-Star break alone. Are you OK? Would you like to talk about it?

We can keep piling on the coach. He deserves a lot of criticism. Bob Kravitz just handed out a bunch and it’s hard to come up with many counterpoints. God knows a lot of the things the coach of this team does seem nonsensical.

But at the end of the day, if you three guys don’t play better on offense — scoring points, shooting at at least league-average rates, set up your teammates for buckets, create easy points at the line — this team just is not going to win many games. There isn’t any coach that can do anything about how your playing other than, “Hey you … yeah, you three guys … the best three players on my team … stop playing unfathomably terrible basketball.”

Tonight — and again on Friday — you play the Wizards, the worst teams in the Eastern Conference. If you can get things back on track in these two games, fans will be able to regain some of that early-season hope that had you looking like a team that might be a tough out in the first round of the playoffs.

If not?

Well, I’m not 100% sure you guys will even make the playoffs anymore.

Pacers vs. Wizards By the Numbers


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Tags: Danny Granger Darren Collison Jim O'Brien Roy Hibbert Washington Wizards

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