Post-Game Grades: Pacers Nearly Collapse But Hold on for a (Perhaps) Character-Building Win

There are a multitude of ways to view Indiana’s Game Four overtime victory. It could be a near-collapse that illustrates just how fragile this team is. It could foreshadow just how easy Miami’s route to the Eastern Conference Finals will be. It could be simply a win that counts just as much in this series as the blowout win did the other night. Or, it could be a character-building lesson in playoff basketball for an inexperienced team that will be much more valuable for future success than a run-of-the-mill 12-point win would have been.

I’m torn. But for now, I’m going with the latter. And regardless, for the NBA, it was a really fun, thrilling playoff game in a postseason that hasn’t had enough of those. That has to be good for the Pacers in some way.

Game Five will be played at 7:00 pm EST in Indiana.

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
The 3rd quarter has belonged to Indiana all series. Tonight, it was David West’s. He destroyed souls and looked like he was going to carry the Pacers on his shoulders to victory. But, then everything fell apart.
Danny Granger
Shot poorly — from an accuracy and selection standpoint — most of the night. Shot 6-for-15 through the first 3 quarters. Have to give him credit for knocking down 3 of his final 5 in winning time, however, including 2 layups in the 4th when Indy needed every point to avoid embarrassment.
Roy Hibbert
Good line, but his fifth and sixth fouls were reminiscent of the brainless ones he would collect two and three years ago. Didn’t really seem to have a big impact on the game.
George Hill
Terrible line, but delivered late. As inimitable Paul Flannery of Celtics’ tweeted: “So Spurs like.”
Paul George
Redemption in the sense that he played great defense on Glen Davis at the buzzer in OT to seal the win. But he really couldn’t get anything going. Was an afterthought most of the game and played very little good defense other than that final play.

Leandro Barbosa
Scored well in the 1st half as the bench flipped the script, carrying the starters instead of the other way around. Helped, at least in part, force Jameer Nelson to miss a short jumper on the final possession of regulation.
Louis Amundson
His foul-monster ways put the Magic in the bonus very early in the second half, which allowed Orlando to climb back by halftime.
Tyler Hansbrough
Active, pestering, pissing off Duke players.
Darren Collison
Perhaps the best he has played as Pacers, especially defensively. “It’s the playoffs—it has to be more physical,” he told 8p9s after Game 1. And ever since, his defense has been more physical than ever.

Tags: 2012 Playoffs Game Recap Pacers Vs Magic

  • Chris D.

    I agree on the character thing…mostly, but I wish we had anyone who had as much feistiness as this Magic squad. It seems like we just lumber through games sometimes. Better learn how to win close because we’ll be playing from behind against Miami. You can forget 19 point cushions.

  • Ronald Eugene

    I resent having my emotions raped in the closing stages of this game.

  • dwain

    part of me wants to see coach V put the second string in early of game 5 and let them play their way into a comfortable place, we are going to need them all strong(Lance and Jeff too) against Miami…and we will need our starters well rested too, some of them have been well over 40 mins per game here. that is not a good thing

    course the rest of me wants to see the Magic beaten quickly by the starters…here in Indy

  • Daniel

    i think granger and paul goerge deserve better grades. They both got some boards, granger’s feild goal percentage wasn’t terrible, and the george defense on the final shot deserves more than a D. Also you can’t forget one of the main reasons they gave up the lead is because of how bad west played in that 4th quarter going 1-7 and having two turnovers in that final period.

  • Aaron

    Paul George is incredibly frustrating to me. There were 3 times in the first quarter he was wide open but looked to pass. Another time, can’t remember if it was in this game or not, he had Jameer Nelson guarding him 17 feet out and pass out of it. George, you’re faster and more athletic than every single person out there and possibly taller, hit your J or take it to the hoop.

  • BR

    Still scratching my head about Hibberts 6th foul. It seemed like his lack of presence in the paint was what allowed them to mount the 4th quarter comeback.

  • Realist

    C is bit harsh on Granger. 21 and 7 on 9/20 (and only 2 TO’s, West had 5). Not amazing, but he was 19 and 5 at 42% for the season. B, B+ maybe?

    Take care of business in Game 5 and then West can get busy putting Bosh in the torture chamber.

  • Ian

    The Pacers did collapse down the stretch, but did anyone also notice how incredibly unlucky they were on getting called on ‘out of bounds’? At least 3 times during the 2nd half, they got called for falling out of bounds, usually after significant contact from an Orlando player. Once West made a nice save, definitely DIDN’T go out of bounds and was still called oob (even the announcers noticed it). So that was essentially 3 free offensive rebounds ORL got during that run.

  • James

    Tyler Hansbrough: “Active, pestering, pissing off Duke players.”

    lol…nicely put!

  • Ian C.

    Your grades for Danny Granger are way too harsh, and seems biased. Give him more credit. 9-20 shooting isn’t bad at all and 7 rebounds? The last time I’ve seen him rebound so well was…….well there you go.