To be honest, as I start this, there are still two minutes left in the third quarter, and the Pacers are going to lose by some as-yet-to-be-determined double digit margin. Denver is up by 21, and Carmelo Anthony just hit his sixth three of the game, at least five of them in the third.
For the fourth time in four games on this road trip, the Pacers led after the first quarter, but it didn’t particularly matter. The Nuggets had more or less taken control with a 32-point second quarter. A 34-point third quarter pushed the lead to 15 going into the fourth. Fifteen points is one of those margins that seems on the fringes of being within reach, but if you watched this game – or, really almost any Pacer game over the last seven weeks, you know that it’s insurmountable.
This game, like this team right now, and quite possibly this season, is utterly lost.
Really only three things of interest for the Pacers from tonight’s game. First was Tyler Hansbrough, who put up 15 point third quarter points, and at the time of this typing, had 21 points and 9 rebounds. Truth be told, he was pretty much the only Pacer worthy of any respect tonight, as generally, they mailed it in.
Second was the fact that Paul George seemingly took Brandon Rush’s spot in the rotation. This is something of a surprise, but also not really. Brandon Rush was spectacularly bad on this road trip, especially last night – where it was reported he played 24 minutes, though there was no visual evidence. Rush has averaged 8.6 points on 36% shooting in January, and has been less than stellar defensively. George’s night (thus far) was relatively unspectacular – and he did get punished by Carmelo in the third – but I have no problem with this move. I don’t think it will necessarily help the team win games, but I’m far from convinced that Rush helps win games either.
The third was either that the guy running the graphic that showed the score on the Pacer broadcast was either prescient or incredibly quick on the trigger. All night long, the score was seemingly updated either before the ball went through the hoop or in the exact same instant.
Yes, it was that kind of game. It’s that kind of season.
- Danny Granger left the game early with a mild sprained ankle…which could either be a mild sprained ankle or a severe case of “What’s the point?”
- The game has now ended, with a final score of 121-107 for the Nuggets. The lead had gotten as high as 23, and the entire fourth was basically an exercise in garbage time scoring and injury avoidance.
- Both Tyler Hansbrough and Paul George recorded career highs tonight. Tyler finished with 27 point to go along with 10 rebounds, and Paul George added 17 points. Really, these are the only players on the team I enjoy watching right now – besides possibly Jeff Foster.
- Brandon Rush did play tonight. He hit 3 treys, but other than that, was his normal non-obtrusive self.
- Roy Hibbert was 6-for-15 tonight. Hibbert no longer shoots the ball, he just throws it at the rim and occasionally, a stray one goes in. I would offer Hibbert, a first, and an expiring contract to Denver for Nene. In November, Pacer fans (including myself) would have thought that insane. Maybe it still is. The thing is now, I think Denver would probably turn it down.
- Coming into tonight’s game, the Pacers were in 9th place, or out of the playoffs in the East. I think they’ll stay there (out of the playoffs, not necessarily 9th) for the rest of the season.
- I’d love to do some analysis that would help me understand what’s up, but it’s just really 99 different ways to say that in December, they couldn’t score, and in January, they can’t defend. Besides, I’m only qualified to do statistical analysis, while this team is in dire need of psychoanalysis.