Post-Game Grades: Pacer Players Play Well, Pacer Team Plays Poorly in Loss to Suns

This game felt wrong, to me. Not wrong in the way last night’s game in Washington was wrong – where both teams were awful, but Washington was just awful-er.

There was a lot of scoring for both teams, and when you look at the box score, you see a lot of apparently good individual games for the Pacers. Think about the game, and you can probably come up with a couple really good plays for guys like Danny Granger, Paul George, Roy Hibbert, George Hill, and David West for every one you thought they looked bad.

Several individual Pacers played “well,” but the Pacers didn’t play well. And maybe that’s what it was. Maybe that’s what feels wrong.

The Pacers were disjointed. They were five musicians on the stage at any one time, each giving a good performance, but none playing in time or tempo with the other four. It showed at both ends.

The ending of the game was appropriately bizarre. After Channing Frye hit at three with 0:28 left to give the Suns a six-point lead, an odd series of events – including five Danny Granger points and two missed Channing Frye freebies – cause the game to last another good…oh…hour, before Paul George’s desperation follow of his own intentional missed free throw clanged off the rim at the buzzer to preserve the Phoenix win.

But…whether it felt right or wrong, it goes in the record books as a Pacer loss. And it’s a loss that, when coupled with Atlanta’s win over the Nets, leaves Indy only percentage points ahead of the Hawks for the 5th seed.

Get a chance to get it back tomorrow at Milwaukee.

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 31 MIN | 4-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 8 PTS
You’d like to see him capitalize more on match ups against the Hakim Warricks and Channing Fryes of the world, particularly since he’s not quick enough to close on Frye defensively.
Danny Granger, 34 MIN | 9-13 FG | 6-6 FT | 4 REB | 3 AST | 28 PTS
Extremely efficient game, and some big buckets late, but nothing in the third quarter that made the difference, and Grant Hill had 22 points.
Roy Hibbert, C 32 MIN | 7-12 FG | 5-6 FT | 7 REB | 2 AST | 19 PTS
Three second half points. Great offensive first half but…Was either matched or outplayed Marcin Gortat (23 points, 8 rebounds), and got physically manhandled by the Phoenix big man in the second half.
Darren Collison, PG 32 MIN | 4-7 FG | 1-1 FT | 3 REB | 7 AST | 9 PTS
One of his better games, both on the floor and in the box score, in a while, but can’t give him more, when his counterpart – Steve Nash – sliced and diced Indy for 17 assists.
Paul George, SG 27 MIN | 5-8 FG | 5-6 FT | 4 REB | 3 AST | 15 PTS
Paul George is becoming more assertive on the floor, and that brings both good and bad. He’s capable of some stellar plays (and strong box scores), but he also makes some really bad decisions – including a turnover and a foolish step-back three coming down the final few minutes.

Dahntay Jones, SG 13 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0 REB | 2 PTS
High point for Dahntay was the technical he received, which – if nothing else – at least registered some official protest for this officiating crews maddening tendency to blow the whistle several seconds late.
Leandro Barbosa, SG 17 MIN | 2-10 FG | 1 REB | 1 AST | 5 PTS
Hit a couple of shots as the bench started to grind back into the game in the early fourth, but overall, he mostly missed…and if he’s not scoring, then he’s not bringing much else to the table.
Louis Amundson, C 13 MIN | 2-5 FG | 2 REB | 4 PTS
Prototypical C game – didn’t help…didn’t hurt.
A.J. Price, G 0 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS
Was just on a few seconds after Hill fouled out.
George Hill, SG 22 MIN | 3-7 FG | 3 REB | 2 AST | 8 PTS
Bailed out some possessions with his shooting, but also struggled for the second straight game to run the offense. He and Barbosa are a fantastic backcourt when they can get out and run, but they struggle mightily in half-court sets.
Tyler Hansbrough, 19 MIN | 5-9 FG | 3-3 FT | 7 REB | 13 PTS
Originally, I wasn’t going to give out any A or A-like substances, but really, Tyler did what you want him to do off the bench: score some points, get some boards, be disruptive. Did dither on a couple plays that cost him, but played well otherwise.

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Tags: Phoenix Suns Post-Game Grades

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