Sweatin' Bullets: Love isn't in the Air (or on the floor)

Sweatin’ Bullets is a recurring feature in which I provide you with bullet points on general theories, observations and commentary on the most recent game.

  • If playoff teams are supposed to use the last few weeks of the season to stay sharp and execute the offensive sets that they are most likely to rely on in the playoffs then the Pacers are taking full advantage.
  • This week in “Former Pacers, Where are They Now?”: Brad Miller will be retiring at season’s end to focus on his hunting TV show. I’m really starting to get sick of all these NBA players that think they know everything about hunting. Way to encourage the stereotype, Brad.
  • Leandro Barbosa’s three point shooting is unpredictable to say the least. Looked pretty brutal in this one, but 50% three point shooting in the last nine games coming into the game for Leandro the Barbarian (shout out to reader, Jordan, for the solid nickname recommendation).
  • Speaking of Barbosa, the possibility of LB playing a similar playoff role to the one that J.J. Barea played for the Dallas Mavericks last year is tempting to hope for. They obviously aren’t the same player, but the instant offense and energy off the bench is undeniable.
  • I haven’t seen Brad Miller shoot this much since dove hunting season.
  • I really take this sports-writing business seriously, but I’ll admit that I stopped watching the game for a few minutes in the second quarter when the Pacers had a 23 point lead in order to watch footage of the Tupac hologram performance at Coachella last weekend. I hear Malcolm Lee scored four points while I was gone. I stand by my decision.
  • As if it needed pointing out, everyone on this Pacers squad is playing with a very high level of confidence right now.
  • Well maybe not everyone. Darren Collison looked rusty. But a point guard contraversy might be the only thing that can mess up such great chemistry. Let’s just assume DC will be back to playing at a high level by next game.
  • The play at the end of the second quarter where the Pacers got four offensive rebounds punctuated with George Hill slamming it home off the rim epitomized hustle and energy. The Pacers had questionable effort at times of this hectic schedule, but I think it’s safe to say they weathered the storm. If the effort and execution are there in the playoffs, it will take a whole lot to send this team home early.
  • If we pretended that J.J. Barea was Ricky Rubio and Brad Miller was Kevin Love then this win would seem even more impressive.
  •  Six years into his career I’m still not quite sure what exactly Martell Webster brings to the table.
  • With David West’s aggressive scoring in this contest (22 points in less than three quarters) it might be a good time to remind you that he will likely be guarded in the playoffs by Ryan Anderson, Elton Brand or Carmelo Anthony. The Hawks would likely use Josh Smith on Granger leaving Jason Collins to guard West. We might be able to expect some nice productivity from Mr. West come playoff time.
  • It’s always nice when an 18-0 lead by your opponent still leaves you up by 14.
  • The updated playoff picture looks as such: Indiana moves to a 3 and a half game lead on Boston in the third seed. Atlanta beat Toronto to maintain a tie with Orlando, which Atlanta holds the tiebreaker to. Orlando beat Philadelphia who moves to the eighth spot although they are tied with New York who is in the seventh spot. So basically, Orlando remains the Pacers’ potential first round playoff opponent. I hope that made sense.
  • The Wolves may have been depleted with injuries and have lost ten straight, but dominating any team the way the Pacers dominated Minnesota is impressive.
  • Name a hotter team in basketball right now than the Indiana Pacers.

 

Topics: Breakdown

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  • Jamin Olney

    Your implication that Elton Brand may be a player that D. West could take advantage of may be incorrect: http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/7782514/nba-elton-brand-defensive-player-year-candidate

  • br

    You can’t deny the chemistry with G. Hill and the first team, and with Collison and Barbosa on the second team WE ARE FAST off the bench. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it, and the Pacers looked damn good tonight, granted this should have been a blow out with the twolves 2 best players hurt. In the post game Hibbert said something in the sums of If coach wants to bench me or play me i’m about whatever is best for the team. I think Collison will have the same mindset and be ok with being on the second team.

  • Sam

    The first bullet point was by far the best. haha Kevin Love
    ZING!

  • NoLookPass

    I can’t hate on the bench as much as normal because they took solid shots just couldn’t get any foul calls with the refs after swallowing the whistles early since it was a blowout from the jump.

    But with that said we need to get a set bench rotation and roll with and get these guys set with each other without making a new change every few games. Tyler along D Jones and to a point Lou have been in there with some many different combinations this year with no set bench line up its amazing.

    Early Foster wasn’t here, then back, then gone then back then gone then retired. Lou went from playing limited to getting more and more PT. AJ has been out, then back in then back out then back in for big PT to back out back to in and then out once more. Lance was in early then out for a while. Hill was in early then got hurt came back and then we got Barbosa and he became a PG and now is the starter. Now DC is back and is getting worked in with the bench.

    Frank needs to make his mind up now if DC is going to stay with the bench or start because we need to get some consistency with out second unit and hopefully get to have a week or so with that set unit so they can learn to play with each other and get the ball to where the others want it quick and in time.

    Once all the playoffs stuff shakes out, I would like to see a game where we start Lou, Tyler, Jones and Barbosa with whoever Frank is going to be the backup PG and start them for a game and let them all get in 36 MP and learn to work with each other and then get AJ, Lance, Jeff and Fez some time in filling for them. The 23rd vs Detroit would be a good game for that allowing the starters an extended 3 day rest and still get back in for a bit vs the Bulls on the 25th.

  • NoLookPass

    So much for getting that set lineup I just posted about as Wells is reporting DC has been shut back down with his groin issues so we’re gonna get more AJ Price, Hopefully this time he decides he wants to run some offense than run AJ ball.

    Hope DC is back for the playoffs just sucks we had this whole year to work on our bench chemistry and now we will head into the playoffs with nobody conformable with their roles or accustom of playing with each other.

  • The Other Ian

    “Frank needs to make his mind up now if DC is going to stay with the bench or start..”

    I believe Collison has started every game this year except the past few when he’s been out with an injury and then tonight when he just came back from said injury. Honestly I have no problem with this because while I think generally Collison should start, Hill should be the one finishing close games with the rest of the starters and he should get some experience with that group. Also there really was no need to rush Collison back into having a ton of minutes in a blowout game when he first came back with an injury. I don’t really feel our rotation has been crazy considering everything that’s gone on

  • NoLookPass

    DC was the starter but Hill has elevated the starters play and the team has taken off. If may be unfair to DC to lose his job due to injury but its unfair to the whole team to change whats working so well. Hill has 23 assists to just 4 TO and is scoring just under 15 PPG since moving into the starting 5 and we are 5-0 after having several games getting blanked with the second unit.

  • Jarrod

    I’m actually pretty sure that Brad Miller DOES know something about hunting. I’m from his hometown and whenever the papers mention him they talk about the hundreds of acres he owns and all the hunting he does on his property. So….the Brad Miller bullet point is totally unwarranted.

  • flampoo

    Brad Miller is shown as a native of Ft. Wayne, but people in Ft. Wayne know he’s a native of Kendalltuck… er, Kendallville.

  • Tyler

    I’m pretty sure the Brad Miller bullet was sarcastic…

  • Joe B

    Nice points. Conrad said before the game that no matter what happened tonight, barring a 30 point trouncing, the Pacers would not get much credit–well, now credit is due. That was an impressive win. Here’s hoping DC gets healthy and the Pacers maintain this focus. It was too bad Fes did not get more time–having him for the playoffs (size and 6 fouls on, most likely, DH would be great).

  • Conor

    I loved that first bullet! ZING! I bet you were saving that for the next time these two played.

  • http://www.discubed.com Discubed.com

    Good points, please don’t take this out of context or as negative…

    Check your stats on the point about the playoff picture, Boston, Atlanta and Orlando are all sitting at 36-25. Boston will remain the 4 seed since they are winning their division. Altanta does not have a 3 game lead on Orlando, they just hold the tie breaker.

  • Ian

    I know Collison has been inconsistent this season and Hill may be the better starter, but to say that Hill has elevated the starter’s play or somehow him starting has led to this 5 game streak ignores the fact that the Pacers opponents during this stretch have an average record of 23 and 35.

  • Jesse

    Is Jared Wade resting for the playoffs? Or is he day-to-day?

  • James

    I think Mr. Wade pulled his groin one too many times.

  • Jonathan Auping

    I apologize for the slight inaccuracies in my description of the standings. I had just done some writing on the Western standings and I was bound to confuse myself eventually. Thanks for the catch. And yes, the Brad Miller bullet was meant as sarcasm; I support Mr. Miller in his post-basketball ventures.

  • NoLookPass

    Our bench usage sucks and It will cost us more than one playoff game. Frank may get COY but the way he uses his bench is D-League at best, Bench comes in and we’re in the bonus and what do we do? You guessed it shoot long jumpers and and 3 balls.

    Not only are they used poorly they all are selfish. We have the Brazilian Black Hole who never passes unless he can’t get a shot off, D Jone who will gun every change he gets, AJ who can pass but is far too worried about getting his broke shot off, Lou isn’t much of a passer but at least most of the time he gets it is off the offensive glass and then Tyler who isn’t a passer ends up taking tons of bad shots he would like to pass out of but knows he isn’t getting it back if he does.

  • NoLookPass

    For as poor as they used the bench in the first half they magically figured it out in the second half and played the half to our players strengths rather than jumper after jumper.

  • 7IHd

    I feel that this correction needs to be made, as this is a ridiculous stat. Starting with Granger’s 3-point miss with 2:28 left in the half, we had 7 consecutive offensive rebounds in the play. Seven. That is great hustle on our part (though poor put-backing…) and just atrocious lack of blocking out/caring by the T-wolves.

  • dwain

    yeah 7IHd…whats up with all the gimmie misses lately? sounds like coach V needs to run a tip drill clinic for a practice ..or 7