Post-Game Grades: Pacers Get Blown Out by 7 in Boston

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.

Agree? Disagree?

Express your thoughts below in the comments or yell at me (@8pts9secs) or Tim (@TimDonahue8p9s) on Twitter.

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.

Tags: Boston Celtics Post-Game Grades

  • mellifluous

    Since Vogel took over last year, the Pacers haven’t lost many close games – the playoffs against Chicago notwithstanding. When they lose, they lose badly and look so wretched in the process that even die-hard fans never want to watch them play another game. I’d like to know why, and I’d like to know if this is something to really worry about as long as Vogel is coaching.

    Sometimes I wonder if Vogel’s uber-optimism breeds overconfidence. The team often looks like crap until the halftime wake-up call, and they often seem to take a self-congratulatory break after any stretches of genuinely good basketball.

    I’m not a fan of either capital or corporal punishment, but after wasting two hours of my life on that game, I feel like these guys need some of the latter.

  • http://[email protected] Droopy

    I’m going to play Rajon Rando one-on-one. I’m going to shoot nothing but three pointers the entire game, and I’m going to tell him that before we play. $1000 says I make more than one.

  • Realist

    Beat the Lakers in LA – get thumped at home by Orlando – beat the Bulls in Chicago – get beaten soundly in Boston. Win the games where we’re rested – lose to teams on their second game of a back-to-back. Strange things are gonna happen this season, and consistency is a tough ask in this brutal schedule. But it’s not cause for concern, in my opinion. Plus, we’re yet to lose 2 in a row.

    If we win roughly half the “tougher” games (which we seem to be doing, and is a huge leap forward from last year) and win 80-90% of the games we “should” win, we’ll end up somewhere in the mid-high 40′s (wins) and I’ll be more than happy.

    Cliffs: We’re gonna have some bad games, don’t worry about it.

  • Zach Winningham

    I wanna see Amudson and Hansbrough in a china shop, and see who racks up a bigger bill.

  • JRC

    While the Pacers are wildly inconsistent they do have some ability. They are capable of beating almost every team in the league on a given night. They are also capable of losing (sometimes badly) to almost anyone on a given night. I really think the Celtics are starting to get into a groove, which is why it was so tough for the boys last night.

  • Joe B

    Geoge…”Wha….what would you say….You Do…here? [hand gesture signaling a question]” -Office Space

    Not a good game for someone I am compelled to defend…

  • adam

    I’m not sure who is more annoying/obnoxious/biased the Chicago bulls local commentators against Indiana or the celtics guys….. damn I wish mobile league pass had the option to switch broadcast audio

  • Derek U

    @realist – you do realize the pacers beat the bulls on the second game of a back-to-back after losing to the magic?

    Crappy loss to the celtics, but I’m loving this team. Reminds me of a scrappy bulls from a few years ago. They’re excited to play, and know how to bounce back. They’re celebrate a little much, but they deserve the right to do so after years of mediocrity and disapointing seasons. Basketball is back in Indy!