Post-Game Grades: Pacers Come Oh-So-Close Against Philly

There was a lot to like about last night’s overtime loss to the Sixers. The announced attendance of 17,701 didn’t look like much of an exaggeration to my eyes. It was a large, enthusiastic, wholly pro-Pacer crowd.

And they were treated to a pretty good game…Lots of action…Lots of momentum swings…Some great play by David West and a big game from Tyler Hansbrough.

But, at the end, it still was a loss. In the grand scheme of things, that probably doesn’t matter all that much, but I have to wonder how many more converts to Pacerland would have been made…if Paul George had hit a thrilling game winner…or if the Pacers could have closed out the overtime when they had the lead.

It was a fun-ugly game. It was 48 minutes of playoff intensity, with another five minutes thrown in as a bonus. Both teams scrapped and clawed as if this was an elimination game.

The Pacers made big plays and big shots, but Philly made more. After the game, I told George Hill that it felt to me that the Sixers had hit an inordinate amount of “difficult” – read: “bad” – shots, and if he agreed.

He shrugged his un-iced right shoulder, and said, “That’s what desperate teams do. A desperate team is going to try and claw its way out. They played with great desperation, and they made some big plays down the stretch, and we couldn’t make a couple.”

And that’s really both the difference in the game, and why we watch. Not just watch, but invest in watching the Pacers, and sports in general. The passion. The effort. The desperation.

Ugly game. Fun game. Playoff game.

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 36 MIN | 13-22 FG | 6-6 FT | 12 REB | 32 PTS
Beginning to assert himself as the playoffs approach, scoring 14 of the Pacers last 24 points, but just wasn’t quite enough.
Danny Granger, SF 41 MIN | 2-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 11 REB | 4 PTS
Needed more scoring from Danny, but still a positive sign that he collected 11 boards. Most troubling was the zero free throw attempts in on one of the more ineptly officiated games I’ve seen in quite some time.
Roy Hibbert, 34 MIN | 2-10 FG | 7-10 FT | 7 REB | 3 AST | 11 PTS
Poor shooting night, but did get to the line 10 times. It was disturbing to watch a post up at the 4 minute mark of the third, where he couldn’t budge the 6-9, 225-pound Lavoy Allen an inch, and settled for a half-hook from three or four feet outside of its effective range.
George Hill, SG 37 MIN | 4-11 FG | 2-4 FT | 5 AST | 10 PTS
In the post-game locker room, Hill sat at his locker with his shoulder iced, cutting of the tape on his ankle. When finished, he threw the wadded tape at a large plastic trash can sitting about 20-feet from his chair. When the tape hit the side of the can just below the lip, he said, “Just like every shot tonight.” Pretty much.
Paul George, SG 44 MIN | 6-13 FG | 7 REB | 3 AST | 16 PTS
Strong line in his newly expanded role, but still needs to grow overall. Didn’t get a good shot at the end of regulation, and, of course, the 5-second turnover. Still, I’m not convinced that any of the 9 guys taken in front of are going to have better careers than he does.

Leandro Barbosa, SG 21 MIN | 2-9 FG | 5 REB | 4 AST | 4 PTS
Need more points and better shooting from him, but nice to see the 5 rebounds and 4 assists.
Louis Amundson, C 12 MIN | 2-3 FG | 2 REB | 1 AST | 4 PTS
Solid game from Lou, but nothing overtly noticeable. Ran that one fast break like Magic Johnson.
Tyler Hansbrough, PF 24 MIN | 8-14 FG | 1-1 FT | 3 REB | 17 PTS
Tyler’s ability to succeed in the NBA is entirely predicated on his decisiveness, and his ability to consistently hit 18-foot jumpers. The former drives the latter. Tonight, he had both.
Darren Collison, PG 16 MIN | 3-3 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 AST | 8 PTS
Nice shooting night, but we’ll have to see how he plays with the second unit. A big question mark heading towards the playoffs.


Tags: Philadelphia 76ers Post-Game Grades

  • dwain

    yes some awful calls by the zebras but the Pacers will have to overcome worse in the playoffs. so many little bad plays like West’s 4 point give away to start OT, Roy’s bad shot selection and his inability to keep the ball high enough while making a play, to stop it being swiped at by the defense(this seems to be a recurring theme of defenses swiping at low balls on Tyler,Lou and Roy).but there were some bright spots, West’s general play and how about Lou with a steal, dribble fast break and a dish!
    GO GO PACERS!!!!!

  • Jordan

    Have to overcome worse calls? I doubt it. This one was pretty bad. I wouldn’t think the NBA would bring in junior officials to call playoff games. I seriously hope that’s true.

  • NoLookPass

    I hope this trend of getting terrible officials ends in the playoffs, I feel bad for Tyler dudes been getting mugged for the last week plus and only has shot 8 FT the last 5 games to show for it after taking 8 in the game before those.

    Its crazy we even went to OT and had a shot to win in that game with Danny having just 4 points and and PG getting held scoreless the whole second half and OT and Big Roy throwing in 4 FT over the final 3 quarters and OT.

    Nice to see DC out there passing and real nice to see Barbosa give it up more. 8 assists from our bench is great! I can’t even recall the last time we got that high in a non-blow out situation which gives the bench more PT.

  • G-Man

    The part of the officiating that bothered me was the inconsistency and the fact that they totally took away the momentum of the game with that terrible 5 second call (that Philly didn’t get on the very next play when they took the same amount of time) I know we had a chance to tie it, but I thought that really took the wind out of our sails. Still it shouldn’t come down to the refs, we need to play better and their defense was solid on the perimeter. Liked what I have been seeing from D-West this month though. Check out This Post and be sure to comment!

  • poot

    yeah, the 5 second call was rough, but it was the right call. PG released the ball at about 5.2 or so, but still, that’s too late.

    the final play of regulation was really stupid as well. i could not believe DWest did not get the ball. a ISO for a PG 3? i guess he was hot, but still, he’s no Reggie.

    Seems Doug Collins was pretty irate at the refs as well. did you see him after the game cursing out the junior ref? saw at least one f bomb and couple of a-holes… way to go Doug, keepin it classy after a win

  • poot


  • little B

    I would have to look back at the tape, but I’m pretty sure it was only 1 official that was making the horrible calls. For some reason he wanted Philly to win that game. I understand you have to overcome bad officiating, but sometimes it is impossilbe. It wasn’t quite impossible this game because the Pacers had several chances, but they blew their chances.
    1. Hill’s deep quick 3 pointer where he wasn’t set right to try and go up 2 in overtime.
    2. Paul George’s last “shot” of regulation (pretty sure he just failed to get West the ball)
    3. Danny’s attempt at the end of OT was actually better than I pictured. Normally he would have taken the shot 30 feet out when he had the look when it was inbounded, but he dribbled out to get the mismatch and shot with a good look but just couldn’t get it to fall.
    But looking at it the Pacers had alot less chances to win the game than what they should have due to officiating. If I’m wrong please let me know, I was at the game so didn’t see the replays up close but here were some of the bad calls I saw:
    1. 5 second imbounding call (the one called on the Pacers and the one NOT called on the Sixers)
    2. No foul call on George Hill’s late fast break drive in regulation, he still finished but should have had a free throw.
    3. The out of bounds call on Paul George’s fast break where he got blocked.
    4. The first george hill jump ball that no one touched and went out of bounds near scorers bench when hill was trying to tip it to the baseline and was called Philly’s ball.
    5. Not sure if these were good no calls or well contested shots but Danny had about 3 drives where his layup barely hit the back board, most likely should have had 1 or 2 attempts from the line.
    6. The Danny Granger 3 point shot from the top of the key that barely made it to the free throw line late in the 4th where the defender didnt even hit near his hand or wrist let alone the ball. (ALL ARM).
    7. Add more if you would like…or correct me if the replays showed different.

  • Aaron

    All in all, a great game by the Pacers. The Sixers had something to prove and showed it. I’m very impressed we competed in this game and had a chance to win it even with Granger’s 4 pts and Hibbert playing terribly. This is a very complete team.

  • poot

    little B –> i was with you on the inbounding call being bs, but then i watched the replay. i have league pass and ran a stopwatch from the time the ball touched PG’s hands to the time he released it.i did this 10 times. every time it was more than 5.2 seconds. most times over 5.5s. this one is on him 100%. yes, the play call by stunk, Hill was held the entire way and even the bounce pass to PG from the ref was off. but he had TWO 20 second time outs. that play was a major boner

    and did you all see—> doug collins fined $15K for yelling at that ref.