Post-Game Grades: Magic Destroy Pacers

Not really worth rehashing a game where a team that is supposed to be good played with that little intensity and executed that poorly. Here were my thoughts on the game that I shared over on ESPN’s Daily Dime. The last one is the most pertinent for Pacers fans.

MVP: Dwight Howard. 30 points, 13 boards, 5 dimes, 4 steals — and he didn’t even play the final six minutes. He was unguardable in the screen-roll and allowed the shooters to spread and snipe from behind the arc.

Defining moment: Dwight made a nifty outlet to Earl Clark, who pushed it ahead by two Pacers playing matador defense to convert a one-on-two break with a finger roll. That type of intensity and execution from Indiana.

That was … one-sided: Don’t be fooled by the final margin of only 13 points. This game was played in Blow-Out City before taking a detour down Garbage Time Way. It was closer to a 30-point blowout throughout

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, PF 17 MIN | 1-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS
Miserable. Forgot he was on the team for large parts of this game.
Danny Granger, 30 MIN | 7-15 FG | 4-4 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 18 PTS
Played well and was relatively efficient even without hitting a three.
Roy Hibbert, C 29 MIN | 5-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 10 PTS
I really don’t remember him making five shots but that’s what the boxscore says. Nice rebounding though. Dwight destroyed his soul, too, it’s probably worth noting.
Darren Collison, PG 27 MIN | 3-6 FG | 2-4 FT | 1 REB | 4 AST | 8 PTS
The defense was a larger problem than the offense but it’s not exactly like Darren was running some well-oiled ship out there. Didn’t stop anyone and was getting laughed at by Orlando color guy Matt Goukas at one point for walking it up the court.
Paul George, SG 33 MIN | 10-17 FG | 8 REB | 1 AST | 22 PTS
The one fairly bright spot. Offensively at least. Sorta got roasted by JJ Redick. Had as many boards as Hibbert, West and Hansbrough combined until Tyler grabbed one extra one in garbage time, aka, the 4th quarter.

Dahntay Jones, SG 18 MIN | 5-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 10 PTS
Presume all these stats came well after the game was over.
Louis Amundson, C 9 MIN | 0-1 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 1 PTS
A.J. Price, G 21 MIN | 1-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 2 PTS
Tyler Hansbrough, 32 MIN | 6-11 FG | 7-7 FT | 4 REB | 19 PTS
Nice stats.
Jeff Pendergraph, F 9 MIN | 1-2 FG | 4 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS
Lance Stephenson, 15 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0 REB | 3 AST | 0 PTS

Tags: Orlando Magic Post-Game Grades

  • Sam

    This one was probably just a bad response to the Heat heart breaker, but it is really becoming clear that something has to change with personnel of this team

    I think it starts with Collison. He is obviously young and talented but I am beginning to think that he can’t run a team that’s trying to become elite. Unless he improves considerably by next year……Larry Bird has to be looking to upgrade

  • Nick

    The Pacers need to do something via trade because they won’t get a star to sign here. We need a taller, smarter point guard and an impact scorer. Anyone on the roster not name George, Hibbert, West or Hill should be made available for the right players.

    Granger, Collison, Hansbrough and a draft pick for Rondo and Pierce would work.
    Jones and Price for McRoberts.

  • The Other Ian

    I agree that this current roster won’t get us anywhere near elite status, particularly this year, but honestly we weren’t getting there even if this roster was performing as well as it potentially could. No need to trade away players unless we get something really good in return right now, we still need some patience and gotta think long term

    PS seriously Jones and Price for McRoberts!?!?!? Come on man

  • little B

    @ Nick,
    Yeah, glad you’re not in the pacers front office. A 3rd string PG and a 2nd/3rd string undersized SG for a 1st/2nd string F/C? Don’t think L.A. would go for that, but if you could pull it off maybe I would want you in there.
    Don’t let me get started on the Celtics trade. I would take Granger over Pierce now (mainly for defensive purposes.) (But I am still pissed at him for biting down to help on the drive and leaving James wideopen for 3 to tie it on Saturday night. I have seen him do that alot.) I would rather have DWill than Rondo. DWill would be amazing with DG, DW, PG, and RH. He looks amazing in NJ with nobody. Rondo has pretty much the same team in Boston (an older version of the pacers), but can’t get that team to win consistently and has issues with coaches and players.
    I do agree something needs done at the point position. But I am hoping it has already been done. I think George Hill will come in and takeover this offense sooner or later once he gets compelelty healthy. Might not be this season, but give him (and DWEST) an actual full offseason with this team, watch out. The Heat games shows how much better this team is with an effective point and it showed how horrible it can be when they aren’t. They were winning that heat game until the last minute when the point positions crumbled. Turnover by DJ, then DC sprints down the court to take a quick shot at the basket lead to their demise that night. Changed the game tempo to what the Heat wanted, not what the Pacers wanted and the Pacers had contol of the ball on both plays. And the no appearance last night against Orlando makes it to where there wasn’t even a game. But I think GH could be the answer, and DC would be amazing coming off the bench.

  • Zach Winningham

    I agree that George Hill seems better fit to run the point with the starting unit. But the bench is usually struggling for points, so taking away the only reliable scorer from the bench and replacing it with Collison would be a mistake this season.

    The real problem is, like everyone has said, we don’t have an “elite” point guard. And until we do, we will be mired in mediocrity. Mired in mid to late first round draft picks that keep us always in the middle. We MUST do something in free agency or trade to try to help us get over the hump.

    It seems to be the general consensus around the website here that the Pacers have a team that could win a 7-game series in this years’ playoffs. Honestly, I think you are all thinking with 51% heart. I don’t think we could beat Philly or Orlando or Atlanta 4 times in the playoffs with this team. Too many slow starts to games. Too many mistakes in crucial moments that are very simply caused by the mediocrity of some of our players. It’s not rocket science…some of our players just aren’t great. I can’t think of a single “good team” in the NBA that, with 10 seconds left and the ball in a tie game, don’t even get a shot off.

    It’s a good situation that we are this frustrated…it means we are on the verge of being back in contention.

  • Ian

    Collison doesn’t seem to be the long term answer for this team, but putting all the problems on him is ridiculous. As noted, our big men have stopped rebounding. You can’t blame that on Collison. And I think all the comments about George Hill are rose colored glasses. He’s not a natural distributor.

    Still, I do think Rondo is the best, only option to significantly improve via trade. He is a dominant defensive player, a natural distributor and he never stops working hard. He obviously wants to be the leader but on the C’s he had 3 future HoFamers. On the Pacers he’ll add another experienced, championship voice. Hollinger had a 3 way trade including Hibbert and Collison that netted Rondo. Do that deal then pick up Kamen for peanuts and you’ve significantly upgraded the roster. Hibbert has been a nice find for the Pacers but he’s a restricted FA next season and not reliable enough to be a centerpiece of the team. Then see if we can get Gordon cheap coming off injury for next season. To the person who mentioned D Williams, have you been paying attention at all? He wants to play in NY, LA and Dallas, nowhere else.

  • little B

    @ Zach
    I think your correct on all your statements, but putting DC in the 2nd string and adding a guy like Eric Gordon to the bench could change that. And we really haven’t seen what Hill can do with the starting group. Monta Ellis could be another option to look at other than Dwill at the point? just my thoughts.
    Looking at Pacers results from this year backing Zach’s thoughts:
    1-3 vs Orlando (hopefully Dwight is gone this week , that would help),
    1-2 vs a injured Hawks team (yes George Hill has been out, but he is not like Joe Johnson and Al Horford missing)
    0-1 @ PHI ( 3 games still left so this is still undecided).
    1-1 @ CHI, (yes both were on road).
    0-3 vs MIA (should be 1-2, but how many times is that said)
    Looking at all of those games Pacers how been run out of the gym 7 times and have only dominated 2 of the games they won. Showing that they are not as good (yet) as any of those teams.
    I didn’t expect the Pacers to be a 3 /4 seed this year. I actually think they could be, fut they just need to be better than the 8 seed they were last year. A 5/6 we be the goal I think for this year. 3/4 seed would be surpassing the goal.

  • other mike

    Nick, all due respect (and i said all due respect…) but that’s some pretty ignorant GM’ing there on your part.

  • richard

    its time for a change. how long are we goin to keep settling for mediocricy an star getting players that put fans in the stands. okc has had an franchise for only 4 years an they are already contending, when will we finally wake up n get the right pieces to contend.

  • Mike

    Eric Gordon will not be a bench player if we sign him. He’s going to get paid starter money.

    And OKC has done what they have done via having horrible teams and having high draft picks. Durant: #2 overall, Westbrook: #4 overall and Harden: #3 overall.

    And why is everyone obsessed with Rondo? Not a good shooter and bad attitude. Hes had good games vs. us because we don’t have a guy who can match up well with him. He put up his numbers when the big three were playing at a high level too. Please stop talking about this guy. And why would we trade Granger for Pierce? Idiotic.

    What we need is a decent backup/challenger to Roy and something to fix our pg situation.

  • dwain

    i don’t think trading Roy is the answer(unless we could get Howard), his improvement each year says he will be a great “big” soon. That said i wish there was more skill in the pick and roll with this team, i think Roy and David running the pick/roll pick/pop could add an offensive strength to this team, that would get them steady when things seem to be out of control in games. You can see DC being on the cusp of a great PG at times too, but there seems to be a hesitation, sometimes in his shot and sometimes in being able to make that killer pass, perhaps it isn’t DC as much as it is his team mates not moving properly to have themselves open for that killer pass. Proper floor spacing seems an issue at times with this team, but to me the thing these guys need most is mental toughness, so that they don’t get defeated mentally before the game is over. I really think we just need a vet PG, who by ball placement(pass-movement) can stir them to the greatness that is there and won’t allow them to stay down when they get to that point, one that can mentor DC and guide/ride his team to spur them to greatness. Despite his occasional bad showings i think David West is doing very well, the best addition i have seen this team make in years…get us another West in point guard form Larry! GO PACERS!!!!

  • JRC

    @little B – Don’t forget the win at Dallas (was Dirk there for that one?). Still, you’re right, but that only proves the Pacers are not “elite”, which we already knew. I think the Pacers are could conceivably win a series against Philadelphia, but I wouldn’t bank on it. Orlando, Miami, Atlanta, and Chicago would probably all win a seven game series against us. The team is still a few pieces away. However, let’s now forget where they came from – this was a team going nowhere. Now, we have a relatively young team with lots of financial flexibility that, at least, beats the teams they should. It’s a start.

  • Alan

    We just need confidence and whatever made us play like we did at the beginning of the season(tough, physical basketball) we need it back. Realisticly we arn’t going to get rondo in a trade because it would cost us too much. Dwill is even more unrealistic. I saw we might try to get ray allen and he could help just because he is another vet. Hill isn’t a distributor and doesn’t want to be.

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  • Dario

    We are much better, but still cannot get a shot off at crunch time, and still play at the other teams pace when the heat (not the team) gets turned up. Is that the PG’s fault, the coaches, or the top player on the teams fault? I don’t know, but whomever is in control did not do their job.

    We are blessed with one the best 2/3 combos in the league in Danny and Paul, The loss of Foster and Hill, the back up 5 and the scorer on the 2nd team we have all asked to trade for, has been crucial. Hill is no Crawford, but he is a scorer, and a stabilizing player at the point in crunch time, and defensive presence in the back court. I don’t expect any big moves, by anyone, on trade day. I do believe we need to address the back up 5 with something,
    Fosters return, or a big body from somewhere, probably not the ultimate solution going forward, but the most important one for this season, and Roy’s mental health.

    We don’t have the all stars to just “let em play” at the end of the game—–Vogel needs to step up and be that commanding voice in the huddle—–and he does not have Hill to lean on down the stretch and has to play who he has, but come on, this no shot to win the game has been going on for years—–danny used to get the ball, no help, but the ball, and at least he would get to throw up a desperation shot with two defenders in his face from 30 feet. The coaching staff needs to realize Reggie don’t play here anymore. Maybe he should, I can see him running the base line, getting a pick down low, streaking for the center of the court, and what do you know, an open three materialized from nowhere! Someone should show PG how to do that, and maybe Danny setting the pick and moving to the corner——–come on guys!

  • Ian

    I do think we need to make a decision on Hibbert soon. He’s going to be due a huge raise next season (ala Marc Gasol) as a restricted FA. He’s improved every year, but he’s not very athletic and he’ll be 26 next season, the point at which most NBA players stop improving significantly. He may beat that curve, but it’s a pretty big gamble if we have to pay him $12M a year.

    If we can move him at the deadline for a high quality young player, pick up Kamen for cheap I think it’s the best move.

  • Andrew

    The main problem with this team is Frank Vogel’s inability to adjust in game. His rotation is nearly set in stone (at 6:30 left in the first the top two bench players come in, period, then a minute later two more…etc)… players get hot, then they get pulled. Players play awful, and they stay in for extended minutes. Frank would be wise to hand the rotation over to Brian Shaw, because if he doesn’t get better real fast that’s who should replace him.

  • Frank Vogel

    Andrew your comment was not nice, I am a good coach. This season is about not overexerting your key players. You want these players fresh for the playoffs. It’s just as vital to have a strong bench. You’re going to develop chemistry better if you have many lineups play together, even if it means “taking out a hot hand.” You want these players to be comfortable when they get in to play during the playoffs and for their teammates to trust them.
    Pacers basketball is not about “playing the hot hand.” It is a team game and it starts on defense.

    Our team is young and should grow together. What do you gain by blowing it up now and starting over? Just wait until the playoffs, you will see how my rotations are working out when our bench comes in and blows away the opposition!

  • Mike

    Ughhh ^^^

    We’ve avoided these kinds of posts for so long on this blog/website. Not now…

  • poot

    two days left until the trade deadline passes and we still don’t have a starting point guard!

    I really like DC. his individual play often makes me go “what a great player! let’s keep him!” but at times when the offense sputters and the Pacers underperform, DC is the root cause.

    Check out this article (How to build a point guard)

    here’s how i rank DC
    Leader – C+
    he is obviously not the leader, or even co-leader of the team although he is shows leadership when others don’t step up and generally isn’t counterproductive
    Play with two speeds – C
    he only plays one speed, lightning fast. it’s great that he can do that, but he is a little one-dimensional
    Give the ball to teammates where they will be successful – F
    indiana is bottom of the league in assist rate, almost having more unassisted shots than assisted ones. as a result, their fg% is among the worst in the league.
    Have the ability to force two defenders to guard them – B
    that lightning speed has advantages and he can often penetrate and draw defenders. doesnt take advantage of it enough, such as pnr plays
    Having the ability to make a 15 foot jump shot – B+
    3% above avg shooting from 10-15. shooting league avg from 16-23. this is better than guys like Rose, Parker, Rubio, Irving, Wall, Lowry, Nelson, Sessions, Kidd. he is solid at shooting
    Great vision – D+
    he has great vision at finding creases for himself to slip through defenders. vision severely declines outside of 10 ft away from him.
    Have the ability to be an on the ball defender – A-
    he is very solid on the ball, though small his quickness allows him to really defend other small-regular sized pgs well
    Finisher – D
    really needs to improve to open his game up. gets to the rim more than the avg pg, but among the worst at finishing
    Communicator – B-
    seems to run plays well. not always the best plays but the team is usually on the same page. could step up more
    Tough/Thick Skinned – A
    very tough for a guy his size, seems to never have any personal issues either. a real attribute.

    so looking at that he is tough, able to defend, make a shot, and apply reasonable pressure on the defense
    Tough/Thick Skinned – A
    Have the ability to be an on the ball defender – A-
    Having the ability to make a 15 foot jump shot – B+
    Have the ability to force two defenders to guard them – B

    he struggles at being the head/brain of the team and managing the game as a leader
    Communicator – B-
    Leader – C+
    Play with two speeds – C

    he doesnt work as a setup man, doesnt work as a finisher. makes it easier to defend him, but he is unable to seize the opportunity to help his teammates get easier shots
    Great vision – D+
    Finisher – D
    Give the ball to teammates where they will be successful – F

    overall, he provides what a great backup point guard should. he can defend, make an open shot, and use his quickness as a change of pace or to apply pressure on specific defenses. he can’t really manage the game and doesn’t make his teammates much better, but that’s the job of the starter.

    I would love for the Pacers to keep DC, let him play 20-24min, maybe more if he gets rolling. but how is it that we are not even trying to get a real point guard!!!!
    as a fan who came up in the MJax era i am just rolling at the way the offense is run. deliver me a Nash!!!! pleaseeeeee

  • Tim Donahue

    As I walk on through this wicked world,
    Searching for light in the darkness of insanity,
    I ask myself, Is all hope lost?
    Is there only pain, and hatred, and misery?

    And each time I feel like this inside,
    There’s one thing I wanna know,
    What’s so funny ’bout peace, love, and understanding?,
    What’s so funny ’bout peace, love, and understanding?

    And as I walked on through troubled times,
    My spirit gets so downhearted sometimes,
    So where are the strong?,
    And who are the trusted?,
    And where is the harmony?,
    Sweet harmony

    ‘Cause each time I feel it slipping away, just makes me wanna cry,
    What’s so funny ’bout peace, love, and understanding?,
    What’s so funny ’bout peace, love, and understanding?

    So where are the strong?,
    And who are the trusted?,
    And where is the harmony?,
    Sweet harmony

    ‘Cause each time I feel it slipping away, just makes me wanna cry,
    What’s so funny ’bout peace, love, and understanding?,
    What’s so funny ’bout peace, love, and understanding?,
    What’s so funny ’bout peace, love, and understanding?

  • Tim Donahue


  • richard

    i understand coach vogel plan, but its time to get an impact player added to wat we already hv. can we finally get someone who can create there own shot in iso? can we get a defensive pf who plays d coming off the bench? can we get a bigger floor general type of pg that average more than 5 assist? can we stop depending on a 34 year old back up center who is having up n dwn back problems, thinking he is the missing link for our bigs sucess? can roy hibbert stop playing so soft n timid stop getting out battled by smaller post defenders? can somebody teach granger how to dribble? can tyler hansborough get traded, lance, n aj, all are mediocore. why cnt darren run a sucessful fastbreak? oh i forgot, add dontay to the trade mix, he screws up more than he helps. paul george is the only pacer with true upside, just need to wok on his playmaking dribbling in the off season. i think coach vogel is a darn good young coach, he just need the right players to really show how good he is. with all that said, its time to stop settling for mediocricy and start conteding for real. its time to give us fans a reason to sell out bankers every home game an bring up the revenue for mr simon n our community.

  • Zach Winningham

    I think Jim Irsay snuck into Tim’s body and posted song lyrics!

  • poot

    lol yeah the pacers need dwight at center, blake at pf, lebron at sf, kobe at sg and cp3 at pg. seriously, trade away all this garbage and get some real stars…

    i wish i could have heard all you people in the 90s. “trade smits he is soft” “trade davises, they are mediocre” “trade mckey, you need a iso star” “trade jackson, he is too slow” or some other crap like that. its like miami heat fans posing as Pacer fans here.

    Pacer basketball is toughness, scrappyness, clever play. it is about making the most out of limited talent. its about building a team around a #11 pick. it’s about trading for guys who arent filling box scores or making all-nba teams. it’s about indiana, taking something noone expects anything from and making it great through hard work and effort.

    so go back to miami beach with all your trade requests and pipe dreams

  • richard

    ive been a die hard pacers fan for 26 years an im not from miami, im frm indianapolis. an that old philosophy of trying to win with less talent an scrappyness is the main reason why we havent one a championship n never will. every team that has won a championship had at least one game changing player on the team, this is 2012 n that old philosophy dose not work, this is an new era, so poot you cn stay stuck in the 90s with that mind set n keep sriving for less talent cleverness, scrappiness, n that old conserative indiana mentality n pipe dream on that. the organization will continue to lose money n less fans willbe in the stands until we finally stop settling for the old indiana way. POW!

  • poot

    who was the game changer on the 04 pistons? as a die hard fan i am sure you watched how detroit took our game plan and our coach and won a championship against a lakers team that brought in extra hall of famers so they could get rings too.
    all of those players played to the best of their ability. none of them were all-nba. only ben wallace was an all star due 100% to scarcity of centers in the east (jamal magloire was the other center)

    you know what happens to small market teams who think they can just trade for stars and everything will end happily ever after… cleveland… new jersey… new orleans… etc… i guess if thats what true diehard pacer fans want for their team… i’d rather see them contending, maybe to the point where they develop, stop underachieving, overachieve and maybe even win a championship.

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