The Pacers Are Lethal in the 3rd Quarter

Over at Hardwood Paroxysm, Jared Dubin compiled some charts to show how well each Eastern Conference team has played this season during different quarters. That graphic (above) should be pretty self explanatory: it shows quarter-by-quarter team offensive and defensive efficiency rating (the best metric to show effectiveness) compared to league average numbers.

As you can see, the Pacers have a blistering offense in the third quarter that they have paired with a stingy defense. Combined, this means they have outscored their opponents by 9.1 points per 100 possessions in the third this season. That’s a rout.

Dubin has one possible explanation.

A big reason for their jump in third quarter offensive efficiency is the play of Darren Collison, who shoots 52.5% from the field and 46.4% from 3 in the quarter (in 561 minutes played) as opposed to his usual low-40s, mid-30s percentages.

In the fourth, Indiana is nowhere near that dominant. But they are 2 points better per 100, which isn’t altogether surprising for a team with the fifth-record in the NBA.

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