Post-Game Grades: Pacers Get the Job Done in Philly.

In a 66-game season, it’s easy to miss the normal mile markers for success. For example, the Pacers picked up their 40th win tonight. While that’s a pedestrian number in an 82-game season, it actually prorates to just shy of the equivalent of 50 wins in a 66-game season.

Also by beating Philadelphia in Philly, the Pacers finished the season with a 19-14 record on the road – the equivalent of between 23 & 24 wins in a full season. In their 35-year NBA history, Indiana has only won a higher percentage of games away from home three times: 2004, 1998, and 1999.

The win puts Indy 3-1/2 games ahead of Boston, Atlanta, and Orlando for the third seed in the East. Those three teams each have 25 losses, so the Pacers’ magic number for locking up the third seed is two. Win two of their remaining four home games, and that’s it.

Danny Granger delivered 24 points while hitting six of his eight three-point attempts. In the 29 games since the All Star break, Granger has averaged 19.9 points and 5.2 rebounds while shooting an eFG% of .532.

In April, Granger has upped that to 23.5 points and 5.3 rebounds on .577 eFG%. The Pacers have gone 10-1 during the month.

At this point, it must be said that – as far as the regular season goes – Frank Vogel and his Pacers have met the highest possible reasonable expectations in terms of accomplishments. They have a job of work ahead of them in the playoffs, but they have done a job of work to get to this point. That should not be dismissed.

Plus, they overcame the yellow jerseys.

As a minor side note, this is actually the 1,000th post on 8p9s, so that’s kinda cool, too.

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 33 MIN | 5-16 FG | 3-5 FT | 3 REB | 13 PTS | -2

Shot wasn’t falling tonight, despite a ton of good looks, but still made enough plays late to remind you of how important he is to this team.

Danny Granger, SF 35 MIN | 8-19 FG | 6 REB | 3 AST | 24 PTS | -3

Hammered away at Philly’s D by hitting six of his eight three point attempts, added 6 boards and 3 assists to his 24 points. Granger has firmly reestablished his bona fides as the team’s best player with All Star-level play since the break.

Roy Hibbert, C 32 MIN | 6-14 FG | 3-3 FT | 13 REB | 15 PTS | -3

Good game with 15 & 13, and a big three-point play late.

George Hill, SG 37 MIN | 4-11 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 7 AST | 12 PTS | 0

Gets at least a half of a letter grade just for that old school pivot reverse bucket that completely fooled the Philly defenders…12 points and 7 assists in yet another solid performance.

Paul George, SG 27 MIN | 3-5 FG | 7 REB | 5 AST | 9 PTS | -1

Best overall performance in quite some time, seemed to be more comfortable in allowing the game to come to him. Big defensive presence in the first half, despite going scoreless, then delivered some timely threes in the second half. Exactly what the Pacers need from him heading into the playoffs.

Dahntay Jones, SG 14 MIN | 3-4 FG | 2-3 FT | 3 REB | 9 PTS | +8

Great energy and a few signature plays from Dahntay tonight.

Leandro Barbosa, SG 21 MIN | 4-9 FG | 3 AST | 9 PTS | +6

Giving what the Pacers need – points off the bench, though his shooting touch has been a bit off lately.

Louis Amundson, C 11 MIN | 0-2 FG | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 PTS | +3

Quiet game statistically, but team was still positive while he was on the floor.

A.J. Price, G 11 MIN | 1-3 FG | 1 REB | 2 PTS | +5

Looked less for his shot, which is a plus…but not much of one.

Tyler Hansbrough, PF 20 MIN | 3-6 FG | 3-3 FT | 4 REB | 9 PTS | +12

Very active game for Tyler tonight, particularly in the late third, early fourth, when the Pacers turn the tables a bit on the Sixers after struggling at the start of the third.

Topics: Philadelphia 76ers, Post-Game Grades

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  • Zach Winningham

    Great game by the team all around. Even in the third Q when Philly got a little lead and momentum, I never even worried bc we are coming out and beating teams that we should beat consistently. How long has it been since we could say that, 8 years?

  • http://indysportsbarn.wordpress.com G-Man

    I feel bad for Darren Collison, because I don’t want him to lose his starting job like this, but I think you have to go with George Hill the rest of the season and into the playoffs. He just doesn’t turn the ball over, makes plays, and isn’t a liability on defense. Collison might even give a little spark to the bench. Maybe recreate some of that old 2011 magic with Tyler Hansbrough! I would like to hear Pacers fan’s thoughts too! Click Here and read and vote on what you guys think!

  • Realist

    Congrats on the milestone, 8p9s. I’ve only been frequenting here for a season or two, but I think this site is ballin’ and I respect your writing abilities.

    Granger shooting 46/40/90 since ASW. Game on.

  • Eric

    The Pacers beat the Sixers tonight without a single starter having a positive plus-minus. That should scare a lot of teams.

  • Sammy

    Surprised Paul’s 4 first half steals didn’t make it into his Post-Game Grade stat line.

  • Derek U

    G.Hill should defintily stay in the starting line up, He penetrates and dishes phenomely, he’s finding his vision on the court and is making great plays! Hopefully DC fixes that groin in the playoffs. He doesn’t have that DC speed, or first step, but his size, defense, and shooting has been a step up and he’s finally running this team into a 6 game winning streak. excellent.

  • Tap

    Great job on the 1000th post milestone. I really enjoy having a place with good analysis and entertaining opinions for Pacers fans.

  • Mike

    1,000th post. Congrats and thanks for letting me (us) waste 5-10 minutes at work (nearly) every day.

  • little B

    Congrats 8.9. First year I have been on here and hopefully many more to come. Also congrats to Pacers on this amazing season. If they finish this out strong it will be interesting to see how this playoffs goes. Alot of pressure for them to face Magic. Not only are they EXPECTED to win, everyone thinks they should win in 5 games against a Supermanless Orlando team (who have won 2 in a row without him). I know they other day I posted Magic might collapse where Pacers might face NYK or PHI, well I was way wrong. PHI might not even make the playoffs now and NYK would have to win out while the ORL had to lose out. Magic are still tied with BOS and ATL, but I think they will start losing now and Pacers for sure will be playing ORL. All that said, if Dwight doesn’t come back for playoffs, Pacers got what it appears a good way to get the ball rolling going into these playoffs. Win out pacers so you have a 66% winnning percentage this year. That would be crazy.

  • Joe B

    Solid win–exactly what the Pacers needed moving into the playoffs. The team is really coming together. This brings some DC questions though–who will start if the Pacers keep this up throughout his time on the bench?

  • poot

    “keep this up”??

    come on guys, I will clamor as much as the next guy for a guy like Nash or Kidd to come in and relegate DC to a 20-24mpg change-of-pace-type reserve point guard.

    but look at who Indiana has beaten with Hill starting:
    Toronto
    Cleveland (twice)
    Milwaukee
    Minnesota
    Philly
    combined record: 147-219 (equates to 33 win team in 82game season, or worse than last year’s Bobcats)

    so before we get overly excited about this win streak with Hill starting, consider the opposition. Remember the way DC played in wins against the Bulls and Heat earlier this season? Yeah, we’re going to need that guy starting.

    but it is encouraging to see how well Hill holds his own as a starter, even if it was against Donald Sloan, Barea, Calderon, Jennings, and Holiday… not exactly All-NBA material…

  • Jesse

    Congratulations on the 1,000th post. No offense to the Star, but I don’t think there is a better source of Pacers media out there.

    I have to admit, I did not think G Hill would fare this well as the PG. But he’s played really well and Collison had been disappearing for stretches before the injury. But I would need to see some statistical analysis, because the comparison of the quality of teams in the games won does not mean much.

  • Mike

    Jesse, agree. Almost apples and oranges. Pacers have also lost to a handful of those teams with DC starting. So what do we say about that? I think it’s pretty obvious that the team has been playing at a pretty high level with Hill playing with the first teamers. Anyone who says otherwise is either just looking at box scores or stats and not watching (or going to) the actual games. He hits D West way more often on those pick and rolls, finds Danny open A LOT on the perimiter, hits three’s, rarely takes a bad shot or waste a possesion and rarely throws a bad pass to Hibbert in the post. DC does the exact opposite of each thing I just listed.

  • Steve

    Actually Holiday, Calderon, Jennings, and Barea are pretty solid PGs, and I think Hill has been doing a better job on shutting them down than Collison was earlier in the year. I hear what you’re saying about the level of competition, but it’s pretty clear that the starting 5 has been playing at a higher level with Hill on the floor, and that Hill himself is playing a better game in this role.

    His numbers and his control have been awesome, and the offense is just flowing so well. I also like how adding Hill into the lineup makes us BIG and athletic, especially on defense.

    Collison is more of a scorer than a floor general and facilitator, and to me that makes more sense on the bench. I think having his speed and offensive capacity coupled with Barbosa is going to be hard for opposing team’s reserve guards to control.

    Of course the big question is how will Collison react to being demoted? Because we need something better than what AJ Price is bringing, and Dahntay is probably not going to give you the offense you saw tonight on a consistent basis (he kinda kept things from getting to a dark place against the Sixers with some timely offense).

    Maybe Vogel can play it off like a demotion due to injury for the rest of this season/playoffs and deal with it in training camp next year (if he’s capable of returning at all this season, that is). Who knows, maybe someone new will be here and one of them will be gone by then.

  • Aaron

    To me, DC just seems like a better fit for the team coming off the bench. I dare anyone to name a faster 2nd unit backcourt than DC and Barbosa. Plus DC has plays great PNR basketball with Hands-Bro.Hill provides the size necessary to better guard the East’s starting point guards…Rose, Linsanity when healthy, Jameer Nelson, Rondo etc. Just seems like a better fit to me.

  • dwain

    grats on the 1000!

    great win and Go Pacers!!!

  • Russell Johnson

    I don’t get it, we’ve won 9 of 10 now, without our starting point guard, and have practically locked up the 3 seed. What do we have to do to earn respect? For the most part critics don’t seem to be giving us a chance in the playoffs. They seem to think we’re not even in the top 8 contenders for the title. Is this just because we’re a small market team with no star power? The stats don’t lie, we’ve played with everyone this year, and we’re hot going into the playoffs, but if we go further than the second round the whole country will be shocked. GO PACERS! BOOM BABY!

  • trifecta3131

    Congrats on the 1,000th post! I live in PA. Pacers news is hard to come by, so I greatly appreciate your analysis.
    Hill def needs to remain PG. Much better defender & less prone to TOs. I like Collison, but I like him a lot more off the bench.
    Still not sure the pacers can take the Heat or Bulls in a 7 game series (2nd round), but I bet they can make it go 6 or 7 games. If we get lucky late in 1 or 2 of those games though, ya never know. Sniff, sniff. Upset city, baby!!! Gooooooo Pacers!!!

  • dwain

    kinda sad that the fifth best record in the NBA only ranks 7th in the power rankings(espn), but then again i think back to some of the stinker losses this team has produced and i can kinda see how.
    if the Pacers go deep in the second round i won’t be surprised, if they win it all though, the smile it produces on my face will have a little wonderment in it :)

    Go Pacers!!!!

  • NexSerenade (Mike)

    I don’t think DC is getting a 100% fair shake on this. Granger is playing light years ahead of where he was playing just a few weeks ago. He was doing a lot of unnecessary dribbling from the wing, but now he’s jacking up threes if he has an inch of daylight. That alone bumps up the assists. A lot of DCs assists were coming from the pick and roll with West, but now with Hill, West has been a bit off mark compared to his previous games. This isn’t Hill’s fault, but just dumb luck. Basically the shooters are hot now and that is helping get Hill open, who is an excellent shooter.

    What I’m saying is that Hill is very good, but he hasn’t played consistently good as the ballhandler when you look at him coming off the bench, so don’t go overboard, and DC is not nearly as bad as a lot of people say. It’s just over reaction because its something new. Both of these guy are fantastic, but happens if you keep Hill as the starter after DC is 100%, then Hill hits a wall in the last game of the season. Do you put DC in at starter hoping he can get back to the chemistry has had going for two years, or do you leave Hill in and hope this isn’t a long term slump?

    I say get DC starting A-SAP, but split their minutes with the starters. I’d like to see how a unit like Hill, Barbosa, and George would do, maybe with West and Tyler/Lou. Also wouldn’t mind trying a DC, Hill, Barbosa, Granger, Hibbert lineup. Hill, Barbosa and Granger are all shooting lights out right now, this would actually be a post up lineup. Pass it in to Hibbert, of they double you pass it back out and either shoot, pass, or give it back. You could still get out in transition from a Hibbert rebound, any of the Guards could bring it up extremely fast. This would just be a every once in a while lineup, like how we went small against NY because of matchups, but with the main intention or forcing the defense into either giving Roy a 1-on-1 or opening a shooter.

    That said, I’m sure the coaches will do whatever is best. We really have an excellent coaching staff. I’m sure there are more than a couple teams that wish they had one of those Assistant Coaches as their Head Coach now.

    (once again, sorry for any grammatical errors, I typed this from my cell’s browser, so it is hard to edit.)

  • poot

    NexSerenade (Mike) -> very well said. Hill has been great but let’s not go overboard. DC brings a lot to the table, the 56 games of starting experience (chemistry) this season doesn’t hurt either.

    other Mike -> there are plenty of people out there with League Pass who watch every minute of every Pacer game, usually multiple viewings. these people tend to watch other teams as well, sometimes with the 4-at-a-time view on. So even though the Pacers lost to some of these teams Hill has led us to victory against, they weren’t the Same teams. In their last 5 each, these teams were a combined 6-30. To you 0.167 may be a stupid box score statistic, to everyone else it backs up the fact that those teams are playing horrible. It’s like playing the Bobcats every night.

    Steve -> Actually, Holiday, Jennings, Calderon and Barea suck. Especially on defense. Would you trade DC for any of them? Are any of them top 15 PGs? Doesn’t that put them in the back half of the talent pool? Seriously, those guys and Donald Sloan… perfect timing for Hill to show off his skills.

    Good night and good luck Pacer fans!

  • dwain

    @poot- Barea was a pretty durn good PG at a time, i realize he isn’t what he used to be but he isn’t that old, not sure at all i would mind seein him wear a Pacers jersey…as to tradein DC for him…hmmm what kinda picks come with it :)

    yer point is well taken though

  • Jesse

    Yes, I would trade Collison for Calderon or Holliday. Calderon a much better passer, Holliday younger, more upside than Collison.

  • poot

    really? well difference of opinion i suppose. career stats are obviously better for DC, but his electric rookie season was easily his best.i think about that season when i think about his upside.

    anyway HOME COURT CLINCHED!!!!!

  • Realist

    I would rather have George Hill starting and DC off the bench than any other possible combination that has been mentioned here.

    DC starting and George Hill off the bench would be #2.

    I agree that DC is getting a bit of a raw deal, and if Hill is better, it’s only slightly. Either way, these are very “first world” problems (as far as basketball goes) that the Pacers are having. Go Indy.

  • NexSerenade (Mike)

    Calderon is getting old and has had the benefit of playing on a bad team recently to boost his production IMO. I can see the DC vs. Holiday argument. They are very similar players though, and Holiday has been losing playing time on a desperate team, which is a red flag for me.