Post-Game Grades: Pacers Bench Sixers

Doubt had begun to creep into the community around the Indiana Pacers. Though they had broken a 4-game overall losing streak on Tuesday night against Portland, the boys in Blue-and-Gold were still working a more troubling streak. Indy had lost eight in a row against teams with a winning record.

After Wednesday’s 111-94 victory over the (now) 25-18 Philadelphia 76ers ended that unfortunate streak, and did so in impressive fashion. Starting with a 76-75 lead late in the third, Indy outscored the Sixers 31-13 over the next 11 minutes of game time to seal the victory.

Leading the way were George Hill and the bench. Hill scored 17 points – 13 in the second half – as the Pacer reserves delivered 47 points on the night. That more than doubled the highly regarded Sixers bench output of 21.

While Hill provided the second half fireworks with some big threes, Tyler Hansbrough put in the first half work. Buckaroo scored 10 points during a crucial stretch at the end of the first, beginning of the second quarters to help the Pacers close with a hot-shooting Philly squad.

This was as close to a complete team victory as the Pacers are likely to ever see. Besides the outstanding bench play, Indy’s starting frontline was dominant – scoring 52 points on 61% shooting.

David West combined with Hansbrough during the first half for 22 points on 10-of-15 shooting from the power forward slot. Frank Vogel and the Pacers used Roy Hibbert beautifully, getting him the ball in fantastic post position, where he seemingly scored or drew a foul each time. Danny Granger provided a game-high 20 points in the type of all around performance that make Pacer fans’ mouths water.

This was both Indy’s best offensive performance of the season, and Philly’s worst. The 135.1 offensive efficiency and .612 eFG% for the Pacers was no mean feat against a Sixer team that leads the league in both categories (97.4 & .449, respectively) defensively.

As things stand now, this would be the 4-5 matchup in the East, and oh, what a matchup it is shaping up to be. Two teams that are built on the strength of the unit – not the star – but do it in contrasting manners. Philly is quick and athletic, and though they are a very slow-paced team, they are very active. The theme is constant movement at both ends. In Philly’s win – and early last night – they made this Pacer team look a step slow.

The Pacers have more size and are considerably more formidable inside. It was the difference on Wednesday, as the Pacers 4/5 position (Hibbert, West, Hansbrough, Amundson) outscored their 76er counterparts (Hawes, Brand, Vucevic, Young) 52-34, outrebounded them 18-13, and outshot them .667 to .457.

These two squads play two more times in mid-April (17th & 21st), and maybe a few more times in later April. Should be fun.

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 29 MIN | 8-12 FG | 3 REB | 4 AST | 18 PTS | +12

I’d seen these efficient-scoring, smartly-played games from players in other uniforms. I cannot tell you how nice it is to see it from someone in the Blue-and-Gold.

Danny Granger, SF 33 MIN | 8-13 FG | 3-3 FT | 7 REB | 20 PTS | +9

A complete, efficient game for Danny – at both ends. Dare I say, a David-West-ian game where he looked more like a guy trying to be the foundation for a good team than a guy trying to be the star. This could be a very, very good thing.

Roy Hibbert, C 31 MIN | 3-6 FG | 8-10 FT | 9 REB | 5 AST | 14 PTS | +9

It seems unlikely that there is anyone covering the Pacers who is more consistently critical of Roy Hibbert, but I loved his game last night – both the way he was used and the way he played. According to mySynergySports, in 8 post finishes last night, Hibbert made 3-of-3 baskets, drew 4 fouls while committing only one turnover.

Darren Collison, PG 21 MIN | 2-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 AST | 4 PTS | 0

Darren and his backcourt mate Paul George were largely non-factors last night, as the Pacer frontcourt and bench were the focus.

Paul George, SG 19 MIN | 3-8 FG | 2 REB | 0 AST | 8 PTS | +3

As noted above, the starting backcourt for the Pacers didn’t have much impact, but with so many other players delivering quality games, they weren’t needed.

Dahntay Jones, SG 15 MIN | 2-3 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 AST | 7 PTS | +8

Like Lou and A.J. below, it’s hard to single out many individual moments for Dahntay, but he was part of a bench unit that faced down the best reserves in the league – and outscored them 47-21. A’s all around.

Louis Amundson, C 11 MIN | 3-3 FG | 3 REB | 6 PTS | +3

Sure, this line looks bad when compared to his 21 & 8 from Wednesday night, but it was clearly an effort to keep his teammates from being intimidated by his innate greatness.

A.J. Price, G 27 MIN | 1-5 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 AST | 3 PTS | +17

Solidifying his spot in the rotation simply by playing his game. Basic point guard skills take a lot of pressure off of George Hill, allowing Hill to focus on scoring.

George Hill, SG 29 MIN | 7-10 FG | 7 REB | 4 AST | 17 PTS | +14

He, along with Tyler, each earn an A+ as the leaders and offensive firepower for the bench unit that really won the game. Hill scored 6 points and dished two assists during the decisive 12-0 fourth quarter run.

Tyler Hansbrough, PF 25 MIN | 6-9 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 14 PTS | +10

While Hill applied the knockout punch with 13 second-half points, Tyler Hansbrough’s 10-point first half kept the Pacers off the ropes and toe-to-toe with a strong Philly team.

Tags: Philadelphia 76ers Post-Game Grades

  • poot


  • Keepwitdapace

    Average trade he can drive it in really well but I think we need a point guard that can shoot cuz Collison is horrible he’s dragging the team down

  • Ian

    Granger just dominated Igouldala on both ends which may have been the most impressive performance on the night. Both teams shot a high percentage overall but the difference was that the 76ers were just lights out early from outside and on an assortment of difficult shots, while the Pacers were pounding it inside. You just knew that if the Pacers kept doing what they were doing, Philly would cool off a bit.

  • Chris D.

    That was a nice, reassuring win. The Pacers finally looked like the fresher team after a back-to-back-to-back and Philly looked soft after a couple of days off. A few more games like that from Hill and I’ll start to feel better about losing Kawhi Leonard, who’s playing almost as well as Hill in his rookie year.

  • Alan

    Great move by Larry picking up barbosa for nothing. Also great win last night. @Chris Hill is 10 times better than leonard

  • Ian

    Good pickup in Barbosa. He doesn’t play D but he’s a relatively efficient scorer who can create a shot, keeps us from having to rely entirely on Hill for bench scoring.

    Now if we can pick up Kamen for free our bench will be fantastic.

  • poot

    in all seriousness, i don’t understand this move unless we’re shipping him off as part of a package to someone else.

    His usage rate has been steadily rising from an appropriate 18 all the way up to 28! Lebron and Wade are around 31 for perspective (Reggie was 24 for his career)
    That’s what we wanted? a backup undersized 2 who dominates the ball while constantly declining in all major offensive categories (TS%, Ast%, ORtg)

    i hope this is just a pit stop as he is shipped for something better. That or playing in Indiana magically turns his clock back 5 years…

  • Mike

    A legitimate bench scorer for a low 2nd round pick. Sounds like a deal to me.

  • Ian

    poot, I think you are asking for too much for what is essentially a free player. a 2nd round pick from a playoff team is not worth much. Barbosa is statistically nearly identical to Jamal Crawford, a player that many playoff caliber teams want right now. 15 PER on relatively efficient shooting off the bench is a good thing to have for the price, and his efficiency will likely improve a little on a much better team that will find more open looks for him.

  • poot

    i agree with the “live body” theory. better than a 2nd rd pick that may never even be realized.

    but i worry about “subtraction by addition”
    is adding a 28 usg player to your bench a good thing??? sure he will score. he will also miss a lot, and even worse he will often not get shots off for himself or others.
    jamal crawford is horrible, i am so glad the pacers did not get him this summer. he is a black hole of offense, and yeah the 1 in 5 games when he gets hot are fun, but otherwise he drags the team down. barbosa is the poor man version. you say identical stats. crawford has at least been consistent. barbosa is on a sharp decline. you can project crawford having some more decent years before leveling off slowly. what do you project for barbosa- suddenly he will stop getting worse? at 29 he is ready to turn his career around?

    i like a live body. he will be great if Hill gets injured again. but i’d rather have AJ Price on the floor, at least he is improving each time he goes out. put him deeper on the bench and that should be the end of him.

  • dwain

    I gotta bone to pick with the C for DC, i was outright screaming at the screen for coach to pull DC from the game at several points for dragging the team down, same ole hesitation in his shots and passes the threw away possessions that could have been critical if the 76ers were on their game. It was a solid win in all respects nevertheless and is it just me or does the second string out hustle, out shine and plain outplay the first string at times?