If the Pacers hadn’t gone 30-for-31 from the line tonight, this one would have been so one-sided that we can’t even pretend it was competitive. Instead, we can — but it really wasn’t. Indiana scored just 34 points in the first half against a depleted Celtics roster that was missing three starters due to injury (Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen and Jermaine O’Neal). A lot of this was due to giving away possessions. They had 9 turnovers in the first 15 minutes, and it wasn’t exactly due to suffocating Boston defense. They were just throwing away entry passes and traveling. Darren Collison and Lance Stephenson combined for three dribbling violations: a travel, a palming violation and a discontinued dribble. The holy trinity of mishandle.
Somehow, they only trailed by 8 at the half. Then, in the third quarter, they gave up 17 points to Paul Pierce, a lot of which he scored due to either Danny Granger’s or Paul Pierce’s inability to fight through a screen and then nobody stepping up on the backside. Sure, there were a few mini-runs by Indiana to keep it within striking distance, but every time Boston needed some points, it got them.
More than anything, the bench was an absolute joke. They finished the game having shot 4-for-21 (19.0%) from the floor, which brought the overall team shooting down 35.0% on the game. (Meanwhile, the starters were 24-for-59 — despite Hibbert missing everything — good for 49%.) This makes the 10th game this year the Pacers have shot at or below 40% from the field. They obviously still have a very good record, so the defense has been enough on other nights to carry them on other nights. But, like any ability to score, that didn’t show up in the second half either. They allowed the Pierce show to take over the third quarter, during which Boston as a whole made 11-of-22 and hit 3-of-4 from behind the arc. It was no better in the fourth: the Celtics hit 8-for-15.
The lesson: Don’t be fooled by the final score. This one was really never competitive. The Pacers out-classed the Celtics twice earlier this season. And now, Boston has returned the favor.
Here is how each guy played individually tonight.
|David West - 31 MIN | 5-9 FG | 4-4 FT | 8 REB | 3 AST | 14 PTS |
The best Pacer on the court tonight if you count both ends of the court. But that’ll really only get ya the “Two-Legged Man Wins One-Legged Ass-Kicking Contest” headline when everyone else looks this bad.
|Danny Granger - 36 MIN | 7-16 FG | 6-7 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 21 PTS |
Shot very well, scoring inside to make him 6-for-10 with 15 pts after 3 quarters. But he allowed Pierce to get so many easy points — 17 in the 3rd alone — that some of that good offense comes with a caveat.
|Roy Hibbert - 28 MIN | 5-13 FG | 7 REB | 0 AST | 6 TO | 11 PTS |
Over the past week, Roy has broken his nose and sprained his ankle during games and returned from the locker room to play. Credit the Tall Mamba for his gutting it out and playing through pain. But little else tonight.
|Darren Collison - 41 MIN | 3-10 FG | 3 REB | 4 AST | 8 PTS |
Nothing to harp on in particular except poor shooting. Notably 2 of his 3 makes came in one three-possession stretch in the 1st where he kept the ball in the pick-and-roll and made the good decision to shoot.
|Paul George -30 MIN | 4-11 FG | 8-8 FT | 9 REB | 2 AST | 16 PTS |
Got roasted over and over and over by Paul Pierce — when Danny wasn’t getting roasted, I mean. And remember that 6 of his pts came after the game was all but over.
|Dahntay Jones - 12 MIN | 2-5 FG | 1-1 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 5 PTS |
Over the past two weeks, Jones has morphed into Indiana’s best bench scorer. This is not a good thing. Also, he had his third Euro-step finish in transition of the year. It’s officially a thing.
|Louis Amundson - 13 MIN | 0-2 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 2 PTS |
The highlight of his night was him getting yelled at by KG as Garnett was preparing to take some FTs. Kevin must have think he’s European. Common mistake, really.
|George Hill - 22 MIN | 1-8 FG | 4-4 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 6 PTS |
George, what would ya say you did out there?
|Tyler Hansbrough - 24 MIN | 1-5 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS |
@TimDonahue8p9s: “Tyler drive and dunk on KG. Never thought I’d type that.” Too bad he missed the other 4 shots he took, blew some would-be good PnRs and only grabbed 3 rebs in 25 mins.
|Lance Stephenson - 4 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0 REB | 0 AST | 2 TO | 0 PTS |
Played less than 4 mins but managed to turn the ball over twice just by dribbling. Travelled and carried it.