Post-Game Grades: Pacers Embarrass Warriors to Kick Off the Second Half of the Season

It would be impossible to kick off the second half of the season any better. The Pacers ran the Warriors off the floor tonight, scoring 26 fast-break points (versus 9 for G-State) and 50 points in the paint (versus 38 for G-State) to fuel a blowout 102-78 victory that really wasn’t even as “close” as the score might suggest.

Danny Granger led the way both in scoring and being aggressive while Paul George showed the world he can do more than dunk while filling up the stat sheet. Roy Hibbert was a load down low as was Tyler Hansbrough off the bench. Not much else to analyze when a team like Golden State doesn’t even show up to play. The defense was stellar, holding the Warriors to 34.1% shooting and in the process making them the 12 opponent to hit less than 40% of its shots this season.

Making the other team shoot 3-for-22 from behind the arc while hitting 23 free throws of your own and recording 21 assists on 37 made baskets?

That will usually work.

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 - 30 MIN | 4-10 FG | 2-2 FT | 7 REB | 4 AST | 10 PTS

Everyone …

Danny Granger - 30 MIN | 9-18 FG | 6-6 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 25 PTS

… destroyed …

Roy Hibbert - 20 MIN | 6-10 FG | 9 REB | 2 AST | 3 BLK | 12 PTS

… the …

Darren Collison - 30 MIN | 4-9 FG | 3-4 FT | 4 REB | 5 AST | 11 PTS

… Dubs …

Paul George - 26 MIN | 4-7 FG | 9 REB | 5 AST | 4 STL | 11 PTS

… equally …

Jeff Foster - 12 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS

… as …

Dahntay Jones - 18 MIN | 2-3 FG | 4-4 FT | 3 REB | 9 PTS

… Indiana …

Louis Amundson - 12 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-2 FT | 2 REB | 2 PTS

… came …

A.J. Price - 12 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 3 PTS

… out …

George Hill - 22 MIN | 1-6 FG | 0-2 FT | 0 REB | 2 AST | 2 PTS

… of …

Tyler Hansbrough - 16 MIN | 4-8 FG | 7-10 FT | 9 REB | 15 PTS

… the …

Jeff Pendergraph - 6 MIN | 1-3 FG | 4 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS

… break …

Lance Stephenson - 6 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0 REB | 1 AST | 0 PTS

… smoking.

Topics: Golden State Warriors, Post-Game Grades

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  • dwain

    Now that was a nice win! And with what NO did with Chi tonight i feel a lot better about how our game with them turned out too. Come on Pacers!!!!

    dwain

  • NoLookPass

    These games kill the credibility of the previous GPA thread.

  • adam

    Lmao at the grades. Good game. Great way to start after the break

  • Jared Wade

    Felt like they all deserved a little extra credit, NoLook.

  • JRC

    Wow, what an ass kicking. GS seems weird to me with both Ellis and Curry in there. It doesn’t really seem to be working for them all that well, either. Good to see Granger hit some shots.

    A little off topic – only 12,111 showed up to see it. I know attendance tends to lag performance, but at what point should we worry that the Pacers still have the second lowest attendance in the league? How long will Simon put up with that? I can’t imagine the Pacers moving, but good lord, the attendance has been horrible for the last three or four years now.

  • dwain

    @JRC…pure speculation on my part; but my guess is attendance is starting to rise again, with the economy being so bad for the last few years(getting better again one hopes) and sans the strip club hoodlum set. This team is serious about their balling, u can see that, and win or lose i think we can all be proud to be Pacer fans again.”Build it and they will come”.

    dwain

  • Tom

    I’m 25, live in chicago (grew up in indy), and make under 45k a year… yet I get to 5+ pacers games a year. why won’t my hometown get behind this team? we need to get that attendance up asap or else I fear the worst (my favorite team in all of sports bolting for some other town…)

  • Realist

    Indianapolis is still too attached to Reggie’s nuts. Get over him and fall in love with Danny and the boys please. We need some butts in those seats.

    Reggie is still my hero don’t get me wrong, but as someone who lives 10,000+ miles away, I’d kill to go to just one irrelevant game against anyone.

  • Eli C

    Realist has a point. I know a lot of the kids on my campus think that the Pacers stopped existing when Reggie retired (nevermind that the majority of us were born in the early 90′s and thus shouldn’t be able to remember the classics, though I remember The Shot Over MJ and his absolute heroics in the Nets game), and our team didn’t give them a really good reason to not believe that. Keep heart though, once we get into the playoffs again, these guys will announce to the world that Indiana’s ready to reclaim the sport of basketball once again.

  • Jesse

    Those in their late 20s who don’t live in Indiana any more–does it seem like MSG wasn’t even this bad during the early 90s? I seem to remember it getting pretty loud, even before the Pacers had made any deep playoff runs.

    At the least, I would buy a 5-game pack, but I’m 6 hours away.

    The part that sucks the most is that it’s supposed to be a basketball city and I never thought of Indiana fans as fairweather fans.

  • JRC

    @Jesse: I remember attending Pacer games (in the mid ’80s) as a kid at MSA with the curtain. When they would lift that curtain (for “big” games),it would look like BankersInsuranceScamLifeBuySAndSellAir Fieldhouse looks now – mostly empty (although the empty seats were concentrated in the top of the sombrero looking sides). MSA was smaller and louder, though.

    I keep hoping that the city will, once again, embrace the Pacers. Man, 10 years ago it was all about the Pacers, and I could get cheap tickets to Colts games (and sneak down, hehe). Now, it is just the opposite. This city certainly is fickle. Well, I suppose most are, but most (in the NBA, anyway) are bigger and have a larger pool of fans to draw from. That still doesn’t explain why Utah, Sacramento, Milwaukee, etc. are drawing more fans, however. I guess I shouldn’t really judge based on a Tuesday night game’s attendance, but even the weekend games attendance has been relatively low. I think there has only been one sell out thus far (Miami, I think). I know I’ll hit a couple of games this spring, but I’m cheap, so Simon won’t even notice. :D

  • Mike

    It’s tough these days when you can sit on your couch in your underwear and watch the game on your 50+ inch HDTV. It’s not always easy to get to games. Especially during the week. And unless you’re really watching deals, it’s hard to get a ticket for cheap to just go watch. Paying 20-30 bucks to sit in the balcony isn’t even worth it. Like I said, I’d rather sit on my couch at home. Get some “analysis” and replays of PG dunks. (I know I may be in the minority on this subject.)

    And I waited all night for the Lou Amundson grade. He had a stretch of about 5 possessions in a row where he either fouled a guy or turned it over. I was shaking my head watching that disaster.

  • mileszs

    I have to agree with Mike; the difference between the MSA days and now (aside from the cast, residual effects of The Brawl, the economy, and other more difficult-to-quantify factors) is the impressive evolution of the television broadcast. The devices are pretty cheap per inch, and HD quality is extremely impressive, and with one extra device that my television provider provides, I can also pause, rewind, and play PG dunks over and over and over.

    Also, I believe there are several who would rather save their “sporting event” money to purchase one ticket to a Colts game, still. That could easily change in the next 3 years.

    That said, I just bought a five game pack.

  • Chris D.

    I attended a lot of games early in Reggie’s career. I remember the MSG crowd being light many times. I was there for Dick Versace’s last game (an OT loss to Washington if memory serves) and the Pacers got booed off the floor. I recall when the Lakers drew more fans. I even attended one night and was surprised to find more Utah fans in the house because all the Mormon churches had turned out. So, it has been bad before. But, I do think the Colts stole most of a limited fan base away. That’s why I hope Peyton leaves and Luck is a bust. Sorry to be cynical, but Pacers first!

  • Ian

    I think it’s simple, Pacers fans need to see an exciting playoff, like the original Knicks-Pacers, to get them behind this team. Until they win a playoff series I don’t think you are going to see people buy-in.

    I would go see games if I lived in Indy but I don’t anymore. I think most casual fans need something to really get them excited, more than beating up the Warriors and the Bobcats. I’m sure getting crushed by Miami doesn’t give people a lot of hope for the playoffs.

  • ron

    I really don’t understand how people are not going to Pacer games yet. People in Indy were supporting the 0-8 0-9 0-10 and so on Colts games and selling out every game. Yet the Pacers can’t sell out one when they are 10 games over .500. I do believe though that basically every Pacers season ticket holder transferred over to Colts season tickets. When I was younger it seemed like everyone had a parent whose company also had season tickets to Pacer games, and now none.

    It also seems like there isn’t really an older crowd that cares for the Pacers anymore. I remember when all of my family and everyone cared how the Pacers were doing, and now I really don’t know anyone who is older that cares for the Pacers. The fans all seem to be much younger and closer to my age (22). I am in college and still manage to go to at least 5 games, so I don’t understand what else the people in the Indianapolis area could possibly be doing… There isn’t anything else to do then go to a Pacers game.

    The older crowd just needs to be reminded how much fun Pacers games are.

  • Ronal Eugene is Right!!

    Interesting that attendance is being discussed the same day that Grantland debuts a 3 page story about the Brawl. Go to grantland.com and read that story and it will remind you of why everyone bailed on that team, as a Pacers fan it’s a tough read. I’m a season ticket holder and although I’m disappointed that attendance is still down, there is a noticable difference in the Fieldhouse this year. For the last few years the majority of the crowd seemed incredibly bored by the product on the court. That isn’t the case this season. While the numbers may not show a difference, the fans this season are engaged and seem genuinely excited to see the team play, creating a much better environment in the Fieldhouse. There have been a few games that were close to a sellout if they weren’t an actual sellout, and the Denver game a few weeks back was a great experience. The crowd was engaged the entire game and for the entire 4th quarter the crowd was loud chanting ‘defense’ every time the Nuggets had the ball. It was the loudest I’d seen that building in a long time (I don’t count the playoffs since game 4 was all Bulls fans and game 3 was a tentative crowd that seemed to be waiting for a Pacers collapse, including some jerk who I got in an argument with when he decided that I shouldn’t be standing in the 4th quarter of a playoff game with 3 minutes left). But nonetheless, people in this city are starting to notice the Pacers and I think attendance will start to come around. I think the best thing that could happen to speed up the process would be to win the first round series and meet the Bulls in the second round. If we could push a Bulls series to 6 or 7 games people around the city will notice.

  • Derek U

    I can tell you just from my facebook, that most of Indianapolis is misinformed with how the pacers are doing (Good job getting tickets to a shitty team, EX)) Half the city doesn’t even know it’s winning, and is still butt hurt over palace. I was at the GS game next to area 55 and really enjoyed what the atmosphere could be like if we packed the house. It’s a shame, such a beautiul fieldhouse to see a ball game, Indy doesn’t know what it’s missing out on.

    @JRC The warriors were with out curry tonight. They generally play better when he’s healthy. (reference to your first post).

    and the colts still packed out the stadium cause people still had season tickets, and you could get tickets for penny’s on the dollar this year. I went to 4 games and paid next to nothing.

  • poot

    I used to live in Indiana. Reggie made me love basketball. I wanted to be just like him.

    I moved to Cali but continued to support the Pacers. I got knocked off my soapbox after the Brawl.

    Suddenly, they were exposed as a disgusting group of strip-club thugs. Reggie was no longer the voice/face of the team. They were an embarrassing team to root for. Even Reggie, for the first time in his career, openly discussed a desire to play elsewhere.

    As the team struggled to rebuild, many poor decisions were made. Namely Murphy/Dunleavey and MDaniels, JJack, Kareem Rush, TJ Ford. And drafting. Shawne Williams should have been Rondo, Lowry or Millsap. Then traded #11 pick to get back Harrington, should have been used on Thad Young, Stuckey or even guys like Fernandez, ABrooks, WChandler, GDavis, Splitter and MGasol were available. Hibbert was a nice pick, but the Bayless/BRush pick should have been used on Ibaka, Batum, George Hill, CLee, Hickson, Thompson, Ryan Anderson, Pekovic, DJordan, Speights, McGee, Dragic, Chalmers… basically they blew that pick big time. Well, I could go on forever about the horrid decision making from 2004-2008. but I’ll sum it up in two words: Jim O’Brien.

    The Pacers are better now. The pieces are nice. They have good players and good people. They are a fun team to root for and I do openly. If I lived in Indy I would be going to so many games, they are so much cheaper than Lakers/Clippers tix.

    I think the fans will come back around. But the doldrum years were really bad. The team was not fun, the players were not ones I would care to defend, and worst of all the decision making left little hope for the future. I still have the taste in my mouth, but it is slowly being washed away with each game.

    I think the Pacers will win a first round series and that will recapture a lot of the fan base. I can see them selling out playoff home games vs Chicago/Miami in round 2. Then next season, when no players are lost and maybe another key piece is added, the fans will really come around. It should be jumping in MSA… I mean conseco… I mean whatever it is now arena, very soon!

  • ron

    What I would like to know is how much has the tv numbers gone up for the games on Fox Sports Midwest. The people that I know at least watch every game if they can’t go to it. Is there any way to see these numbers?

  • JRC

    @JRC The warriors were with out curry tonight. They generally play better when he’s healthy. (reference to your first post).

    Maybe they’ve bailed on the experiment already. :D I only caught a few minutes of the game. Who was that other guard then… oh dear, Brandon Rush! His stat line actually looks pretty decent, but when I was watching, they looked out of sorts. Of course, I’m also basing my opinion on the few other games I’ve seen the Warriors play. When one of them isn’t hurt, the don’t seem to flow well together. I don’t know, I’m not an NBA GM for a reason though. ;)

  • Ronal Eugene is Right!!

    @Ron

    This was posted on IndyCornrows a few weeks back.

    “It appears that there were plenty of Pacers fans in recovery mode, though since the Fox Sports Indiana television rating for Tuesday’s game was strong, registering a season-high 3.7 rating, according to FSI. Through Tuesday’s game, ratings for Pacers games on FSI are up 26% compared to the same date last season which is more impressive when you consider that last season the ratings were up 35% over the prior season.

    Also, the 3.7 rating on Tuesday was the eight game with a 3.0 or higher rating so far this season which has already surpassed last season’s total of seven games. So the television numbers continue to improve after a strong showing last year.”

    Google is a hell of a tool, isn’t it?

  • little B

    I am with Ronal…I think this blog explains it all. Only 22 comments on here, but at the beginning of the season there were only 10 maybe. This team was dead and for two reasons only: I blame Donnie Walsh and Ron Artest (O’brien didnt help either). Ron for the Malice in the Palace (PS article on Grantland right now about it, pretty crazy) and Donnie for keeping some of the guys around for too long after the fact. Keep up the good work Larry. I still get people who comment on my pacer gear I wear (at work, out downtown) and they say there are thugs…it amazes me how removed they are from the game and for how long.
    Pacers fans are coming back. I used to work for them and it was hard trying to give away shirts because the crowd was so slim. But I bought season tickets for the first time this year. The nuggets game and the bobcats game were actually pretty full. I was impressed. Boston Miami were full as well. Only game I was disappointed with attendance was the Orlando game the night before the superbowl, how was not every seat filled? I think people are warming up, we will always be small town market but we should never be 2nd to last in attendance.
    They didn’t really lose attendance because of their record. Whats surprising through all the crappy seasons they had, they never were horrible, but that is probably why they were struggling for so long. The hard picks are the picks the pacers have had for the last 6 years. The 13th and 14th picks were you barely don’t make the playoffs. They losted all their fanbase because of the embarrising off court actions they had. As you can see in a small market it takes about 6 years and a good basketball team to get a new face started.
    Also doesnt help when the Pacers get not national attention except when its bad. When is the last time ESPN or TNT aired a pacer game?

  • poot

    i think you all underestimate the popularity the Pacers gained by facing the Bulls tough this past postseason. That is the reason West signed with the team for starters.

    However Pacers fans carry a proud tradition. From ’90-’06 Indiana made the playoffs SIXTEEN times. The ten seasons before the brawl, Indiana AVERAGED 50 wins per season (this even includes the 50 game season in 98-99)

    So until we see a playoff series won, we won’t see many sell outs. Consider Memphis who ranked worst in attendance almost every season… until they beat San Antonio in the playoffs. Their attendance the next season shot up to 18th.
    You may not think that’s high, but even in the Pacers very best years they never ranked higher than 10th (they were 16th in the 61-win season before the brawl)

    Considering this team prides themselves on the fact that they’re one of the youngest in the league, they obviously realize the value of staying together for years to come. The fans will come, just wait for the young Pacers to develop into a team that gives a reason.

  • Jesse 2

    I believe you all make some valid points when it comes to the attendance issue. Yes HDTV is awesome. Yes, there is a hangover from the “thug” era still. Yes, you would like to have a winning product on the court. Yes, Indianapolis fans are fickle. All of these factor in somewhat in a reason someone might not go to the game. One issue that was somewhat alluded to earlier is the fact that ESPN, ABC, and TNT have not broadcast a single game in a number of years. The league is star driven and major market driven. Just as David Stern wants. Other people outside of our market are not going to tune into a Pacers v Hawks game, even though they are battling for playoff position. But until that happens, the casual Indianapolis sports fan isn’t going to give a rat’s behind, or until they win a playoff series like poot just said. When you are dealing with bandwagon fans, they jump ship at the first sign of trouble, and are the last to come back even though we have an awesome young team. BTW, who wants to bet the colts don’t sell out after 2 more losing seasons? Anyone want to take the under on that?

  • Lou

    Jesse – I would bet my life on it. Let’s face it, we’re a bunch of fair weather fans in a small market. The NFL is so big that everyone cares about every team – even the small markets, especially if their successful.

    Right now, the NBA in general is looked at with disdain by casual fans – a bunch of lazy, entitled, wealthy Carmelo Anthony’s who don’t care on a night-to-night basis. The league and the networks want/need the Knicks, Lakers, Celtics & Heat to be successful and popular in order to make money. For the most part, people get their news at a national level, and anything on ESPN trumps the sports on the late local news. More people in Indiana know where Jeremy Lin played college basketball than could name a single player on the Pacers’ roster. And if people don’t live in the Indianapolis area, they’re not going to get any Pacers news unless they go looking for it online. Same would be true of the Colts if the NFL as a whole were not as successful and the team was mediocre.

    Success will bring national attention, excitement, and fans back, but we’ll always be at a disadvantage because of our inherently limited natural fan base.

  • Jesse (1)

    Lots of good insight here. Good point about the evolution of home media systems, although that would suggest that more teams would struggle to sell out.

    Poot–where are you getting your attendance history numbers? I was trying to find those the other day.

    The consensus seems to be that if the Pacers make a playoff run (or at least 2nd round), more fans will take notice.

    It’s just weird that so many other clubs who are never in the playoffs have more fans support right now.

    I guess I’m sort of annoyed that so many people have noticed the attendance issue. Even The Onion with the recent sidebar “Empty seat wins Pacers bobblehead” or something to that effect.

    I was at Game 4 last year, and that was truly pathetic. The players didn’t deserve that.

  • Richard Van Doel

    Here’s the reasons.

    1.) Super Bowl

    Super Bowl distracted people’s attention. There was so much hype that local stations ignored the Pacers and didn’t even bother showing highlights. Let’s not forget the post Super Bowl hangover.

    2.) Losing streak into All-Star Break

    Six game losing streak did a team that many people in Indy didn’t trust, no justice.

    3.) All-Star Break itself

    Nothing is happening. People aren’t paying attention. There’s no games to go to.

    4.) Lack of a big name

    Danny Granger isn’t a household name. Don’t kid yourself. I doubt anyone in LAs market knows of him or where he played college ball.

    5.) Malice of the Palace

    The most contributing factor because this hurt public relations and you can say it doesn’t matter anymore, that these guys are completely different (AND THEY MOST DEF ARE) but the fact still remains that it happened and it was the Pacers. Many people will never forget about this.

    6.) Indy may be a one sport town.

    This is just a guess but our time might only be able to support one major professional team.

    I find it hard to be truly vested in the Pacers to the degree that I was before 2005. The 90s were my favorite time for basketball. It was my favorite sport. I feel like the NBA is just diluted with half-assed talent due to many kids skipping out on college development. It shows. Look at Lance Stephenson. That kid has no business being in the NBA. He contributes very little to the team and he would have been much better served playing in college.

    I am a Pacer fan. Haven’t been to a game this year. Would have bought season tickets but the lockout kept me away from making anything official. I watch and support them by viewing games on FSIND.

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