Post-Game Grades: Pacers Finally Win

Hard to expect a well-oiled attack on the third night of a three-games-in-three-nights stretch, so it was not shocking that Indiana came out sluggish tonight. Really, they never got into a groove and that’s no surprise either since Danny Granger and Jeff Foster were both coming back after a game off. But they won and that the outcome was the only thing that was going to matter on this evening. Granger played some top-rate basketball at times, Paul George showed reasons to believe he will be on something like six All-Defensive Teams, and AJ Price stepped up to be the team’s best-performing point guard on a night the starter couldn’t get it going.

Make no mistake: this was ugly. The Pacers shot 12-for-41 in the second half (.293). But they held the Nets to 15-for-40, and forced 9 TOs. Over the last three quarters, Indiana’s defense was superb, keep New Jersey to an ultra-stingy scoring rate of just 89 points per 100 possessions. Not bad no matter who the opponent is.

Then again, they beat the New Jersey Nets at home by 5. Not exactly time to throw a parade.

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 - 34 MIN | 6-16 FG | 4-6 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 16 PTS
Looked good at times, terrible at others — particularly when he made that Tim Tebow-looking hail mary for no real reason late to turn over the inbounds and give the Nets one last hope. Lost his matchup with X-Kardashian.
Danny Granger - 42 MIN | 10-20 FG | 8-9 FT | 5 REB | 2 TO | 32 PTS
Beast. And showed that he might not be the team’s All-Star but he is its most dynamic offensive weapon.
Roy Hibbert - 27 MIN | 5-11 FG | 3-4 FT | 11 REB | 4 TO | 13 PTS
Double-double but could have used more against a ramshackle front line. Played well late.
Darren Collison - 26 MIN | 2-8 FG | 2 REB | 2 AST | 5 PTS
Got lit up by DWill and struggled to find his own offense while often creating none for anyone else. Now has 3 assists in his last 2 games.
Paul George - 38 MIN | 4-8 FG | 5 REB | 5 AST | 4 STL | 2 BLK | 11 PT
DWill was 6/13 first half but just 4/11 second when he was mostly checked by George. Of those 4 baskets, Deron got a layup against AJ Price in a switch, a three after a bad TO by Price and one hoop when George was down at the rim defending the break.

Jeff Foster - 18 MIN | 1-1 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS
It’s staggering and inexplicable how much better this team looks when he plays.
Dahntay Jones - 13 MIN | 0-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 PTS
Brought his game from Cleveland back home with him. Bed bugs would have been preferred.
A.J. Price - 22 MIN | 3-6 FG | 1-1 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 8 PTS
Very, very solid. This was the guy we saw during the win in Boston and against Charlotte in Indiana.
Tyler Hansbrough - 17 MIN | 1-5 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 4 PTS
My mom told me that if you can’t say anything nice …
Lance Stephenson - 4 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS
Non-factor in few minutes

Topics: New Jersey Nets, Post-Game Grades

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  • Michael

    Couldn’t agree more with the Jeff Foster comment. It’s crazy to think- yet entirely true. Big example for me came when he took the open jumper from mid-range and it was nothing but net. Amundson would have bricked it.

  • MCR

    Absolutely with you on Foster. I’ve always loved the guy because he works and because of that great picture of him dunking home the last basket ever at MSA. And I hate to point this out, but since Tyler had the best +/- of any player on either team tonight (+11), you could’ve at least given him a D-.

  • redmid17

    Not really staggering when you realize the more Foster plays, the less Hansbrough plays.

  • NoLookPass

    Hansbrough should get a D- just for managing two assists on a pair of Granger treys but whats the deal with that big brace he had on tonight? I read in the star he was sick but that wrap looked massive for someone with no known injury.

  • adam

    “feisty Foster”. Love the energy he brings.

    Btw, did anyone else notice during the game against Memphis (yes, I know I’m a week late) when the grizz commentators said something like “foster has been with the pacers for 13 years. Only person to stick with the team that long”……. ummm ever heard of a guy by Reggie Miller????

  • little B

    1.I never felt like the pacers were going to lose this game. Even when we were down double digits in the first half. Then my wife says with 45 seconds left, “lets go, they can’t lose.” Then I went pale as the last 45 seconds took what it felt like an hour. I thought we actually might lose this game. Then I did think we were going to lose that game somehow when West chucked that ball at the New Jersey Bench. But luckily, we were playing a team that played worse than us and took over 9 seconds to get a shot off there on the last play. WOW.

    2.Also where are all the Granger haters at now? The guy plays really good defense and scored 32 points. The first quarter he was actually passing the ball way too much to West and Hibbert who just bricked everything. Danny may not get alot of assists but he creates alot of open plays for the team. I just don’t see why or who people want to trade Danny for that can do everything as a whole like he can.

    3. Did anyone think the officiating crew did an aweful job last night? I mean terrible? I expected to look at the box score and see 20 blocks for the Nets, because I swear Humpries had 8 himself. I’m glad none of those made the highlight reel.

  • Chris D.

    Just the sort of win we needed. I don’t know exactly why, but I wish we’d gone after Kris Humprhies when he sat on waivers this year. Anyone know why we didn’t or why he wasn’t in demand? He’s a double-double guy every night on the right team.

  • Mike

    Little B- Agree on the Granger comment. When he turns it on, which has been a lot as of late, he’s a beast. He’s taking the ball to the basket a lot more and in turn getting foul shots. He’s still one of the best 3-point shooters in the league. You could tell the team needed him.

    And it’s hard to totally fault D West on that hail mary. Yeah it should’ve been better but actually the result that came out of it wasn’t even the worst that could have happened. He could have just held on to it and got a 5 second call since we had no TOs. NJ would have had it under the basket instead of on the other end of the court. I realize if no one touches it then they get it there too, but in the end he didn’t have much choice but to heave it away from the Pacers end of the court.

  • Lou

    Is there any way we can petition the league to add more Nets games to the rest of the schedule?

  • Sam

    So glad that we play Bobcats next

  • JRC

    The Pacers needed that one. The wheels fell off in the last week. Hopefully they can rebound and WIN 5 in a row. Well… I’m getting ahead of myself; one game at a time, :)

  • Ian

    Some observations:

    1) Hans needs to step back and re-evaluate his game. What he’s doing this season is just not working. Focus on D and rebounding and practice his mid-range game. Guy gets stuffed so often.

    2) The Pacers have to be one of the worst inside finishing team in the league. In the last few games I have never seen so many blown layups. I can’t really explain it, maybe because George is the only guy with real hops.

    3. I’ve taken Granger for granted. He’s so important to what the Pacers do. It’s too easy to shut the offense down without him.

    4. I hope we get the real David West at some point this season. Guy is a career 16 ppg scorer!

    5. Get George the damn ball. Not enough plays take advantage of his athleticism. Not saying he should be ‘the man’, but especially when Granger or Hibbert is off the floor he needs to get more touches.

    6. Still need to trade/sign a vet who can provide reliable points on the wing off the bench. Jones isn’t getting it done.

  • Ian

    Oh one more thing, the Pacers need to perfect the ‘fall into the guy with the ball knocking him out of bounds’ play that the Nets are so good at.

  • Joe B

    Non-factor in few minutes–B?! Come on, if he was a non-factor you have to give a neutral score of C, and I would actually argue for a C-, as he missed a shot. Keep the letters’ integrity! haha

  • Mike

    Ian – Totally agree on George. He can be such a dangerous slasher. Nobody can really guard him when he’s going to the rim. I just wish he finished at a higher rate. He’s always at the rim but can’t get them to fall as often as he should. The problem is that he’s such a good three points shooter, that Vogel (and PG) need to find that medium where he is getting the most out of his 3 point and one on one chances.

  • other mike

    PG is just a gifted defender, a lot of fun to watch. He’s like a bizarro Granger; Fantastic defender -doesn’t shoot enough to maximize his offensive gifts.

  • adam

    Ian- My take on Hans.. he does that “power dribble” when he catches the ball in the post. He goes so far down with it and 1 of 2 things usually happen.

    a) he’s so far down that by the time he’s back up, shot is ready to be blocked
    b) since he has that 1 move, smaller guards know to wait low, and swipe when he brings it down.

    His jumper is usually on when he catches in rhythm.

  • little B

    Paul George is seeing the court amazing. His passing game has impressed me the most (and his defense). The pacers gave got 2 (DG and PG) of the best defending guards in the league. I wish I could say that about the rest of the team. Paul hits the guys off the pick and rolls so quick it gives West and Danny all day to shoot. He had a few down low passes that were great as well last night. Only thing he needs to do to step up his game is to take a couple more shots when others are missing the shots around him. I dont want him to take like 10 more shots a game, maybe 5. When someone just isnt hitting shots, quit passing them the ball. And create your own shot The first quarter last night was a perfect example.

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