Post-Game Grades: Pacers Lose Pivotal Game 4 to Two Freight Trains, Squander Early Lead


There are certainly things that the Pacers can look back and in regret. They went for too many knockout threes early when they were rolling, forcing turnovers and running instead of dishing out body blows that would have extended the lead. A team like Miami can always come back so you’re not going to beat them in the first quarter. So the priority should be stacking made hoops not trying to run them out of the building.

There are also so definite reasons to question why coach Frank Vogel left Roy Hibbert and David West on the bench so long in the fourth quarter when they only had four fouls. Miami was up 4 when West checked out with 2:58 left in the third quarter and only 5 when he and Hibbert came back in with only 6:11 left in the fourth. So the game didn’t get away from Indiana by any means. But there is certainly an argument to be made that Miami took complete control of the game against a non-traditional Pacers small-ball lineup, and that Vogel should have gone back with this A-team as soon as possible to exert his team’s physicality and size back on the game when there was still more time to recover from the onslaught that hit them in the third.

But, yeah, it was mostly that.

LeBron was a force of nature, dropping a ridiculous 40/18/9 stat line that hasn’t occurred in the Playoffs since Elgin Baylor did so roughly a half-century ago. And after Dwayne Wade got going at the end of the second quarter, it was like being hit by a rogue wave in a row boat. The two of them combined to score 48 of 50 Heat points at one time and Dwyane didn’t miss a shot in the third, scoring 14 in the period — just like his partner in crime, James.

So, sure, look at the film, question your decisions and for god’s sake get back in the post next game. But more than anything, just realize that acts of God happen. The key is to not go quite so fetal next time and continue to score on the other end, instead of getting out-scored 30-16 (which was really only that close because of Darren Collison) in the third.

More on this game in the hours and days to come. For now, 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 28 MIN | 3-8 FG | 2-2 FT | 6 REB | 3 AST | 8 PTS
Virtual no-show, which was weird because he spent a lot of his time being guarded by Shane Battier. A fine gentleman and defender indeed, but a guy West’s size should be able to do more than score 8 pts on 8 shots. Foul trouble also plagued his game.
Danny Granger, 42 MIN | 8-18 FG (4/9 3PT) | 5 REB | 3 AST | 20 PTS
Shot well and played well offensively in general although you would like to see him be the one, if West isn’t, to take control of a few possessions and make sure something good happens. He wasn’t able to do that when the drought was at its worst in the 3rd. He also, ya know, gave up 40 pts to LeBron, but sorta hard to stop a meteor so hard to be too mad about that.
Roy Hibbert, C 32 MIN | 4-9 FG | 9 REB | 3 BLK | 3 TO | 10 PTS
Still protected the rim well but LeBron and especially Wade finally decided to forego the pull-ups and floaters in lieu of going at the big fella at the hoop. It worked quite often and put Roy into foul trouble. On offense, he wasn’t all that active.
George Hill, SG 30 MIN | 2-9 FG | 2-2 FT | 1 REB | 4 AST | 8 PTS
Just pretty terrible all around. Let Chalmers get free for some early 3s and never made up for it on offense. Lead disappeared on his watch in the 3rd quarter.
Paul George, 36 MIN | 4/11 FG | 4/4 FT | 6 RB | 5 AST | 3 ST | 13 PT
Played well at times on both ends. Torched by D-Wade, but I think the Spartan 300 might not have been able to stop Flash. Still was active and got deflections although he lost a cutting Dwyane too many times. At some point, when he’s going like that, you — Indy’s best perimeter defender — need to prioritize slowing down the man over abiding by team principles. Missed some open 3s.

Dahntay Jones, SG 3 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS
Probably should have played more but understandable why he didn’t.
Leandro Barbosa, SG 19 MIN | 3-10 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 8 PTS
Wasn’t particularly good.
Louis Amundson, C 16 MIN | 1-2 FG | 7 REB | 1 AST | 2 PTS
Active enough.
Tyler Hansbrough, 14 MIN | 2-5 FG | 4-4 FT | 1 REB | 2 TO | 8 PTS
Was looking really good early, getting to the line and ensuring that there was no drop off in physicality when West left with foul trouble. But those two travels on what should have been two very needed buckets, right as things were unraveling, loom larger than the good start. 1 board isn’t acceptable.
Darren Collison, PG 20 MIN | 6-7 FG | 4-6 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 16 PTS
Glorious. His 2nd quarter stint is the same type of game-changing performance he has been showing the whole playoffs. He wasn’t making things happen in the 3rd/4th as well, so wtth how he was going, in an ideal world, probably should have played the whole 4th. But this Heat series sucks for him since there really isn’t anyone for him to guard if Chalmers is on the bench.

Tags: 2012 Playoffs Game Recap Pacers Vs. Heat

  • NoLookPass

    So much for that Defense shutting down Wade with him getting 22 in second half and turned a 1-for-8 into a 13-for-23 and I think every time he missed in second half they got the board. Also how does any team let Udonis Haslem get 8 in the 4th quarter when he hasn’t even had 8 in a game in these playoffs.

    The Heat had 3 guys makes buckets in the second half and a 4th added two FT’s. Wade 22, James 21, Haslem 10 and Anthony 2 for 55 points! Wade and James has out scored us in the second half by themselves in both wins of the series.

    What a bad time to fall back in love with the 3 ball and jacking up tons long shots. I will never get the love affair with Leandro Barbosa, he had a sweet play to end the first half but those a few and far between. He shot 39.9% with us in regular season and now 38.7% in playoffs and almost all of that is on layups so its no telling how bad on jumpers. He’s shooting 33.3% this series and has taken 10 shots in 3 of the 4 games. Took him 10 shots today to get 8 points and that was the 3rd highest shot total on the team just 1 behind PG. 5 other players had 8 or more points for us with less shots so maybe they should shoot some of his bricks.

    Roy was 3-of-4 in the first quarter for 6 points then finishes with 10 points total and Hill doesn’t make a bucket after the first quarter. They refuse to give Tyler any type of call this series as every single thing has went against him as they called moving screens, several walks, off arm clear outs and countless weak fouls. In reality something either way can be called every time he has it but its its been mostly tons of stuff they never hardy call and 90% going against us.

    With the news of Stephenson getting into it with J Howard before the game on top of all the other drama, we better hope the Heat don’t win this series because they are going to put on quite the celebration on us.

    Pacers Second half +/- and shooting.
    -19 Granger 4-of-9
    -15 West 2-of-6 with 2-of-2 from line
    -13 PG 3-of-5
    -10 Roy 1-of-5
    -8 Hill 0-of-4
    -5 DC 2-of-2 with 2-of-4 from line
    -4 Barbosa 1-of-5 with 2-of-2 from line
    -4 Lou 1-of-1
    -2 Tyler 1-of-1

    Just 8 times to the line for 6 points in second half hurts, the Heat went to the stripe 19 times in the second half.

    Pacers Series +/-
    +47 for PG
    +35 for Hill
    +30 for Roy
    +22 for West
    +13 for Granger
    -4 for D Jones
    -19 for Tyler
    -21 for Lou
    -28 for DC
    -47 for Barbosa
    Garbage time in Game 3
    -2 for Lance
    -2 for Price
    +1 for Pendergraph
    Pacers +5 overall

  • Drew

    Lebron and Wade played lights out. West and Hibbert were in serious foul trouble early. I dont think that either one of these things will happen again. Especially not twice allowing the Heat to take this thing. Sad to see this one slip away, but I truly believe that Indiana will regroup.

  • NoLookPass

    People make way to much about those two travels it seems like every I seem to read people are saying it cost us the game. No doubt it was lame, weak, dumb or whatever you want to call it but even if he makes both and gets and one called somehow and hits both FT we still lose by two and while he was on the floor in the second half we lost by 2 in a -16 half.

    You have Lou with a C+ and he also had two TO as he took a layup off the board with a wild elbow offensive foul and threw the ball from out of bounds on inbound pass to the Heat for a easy two points while the Heat scored time after time on him for defense. Also have Barbosa a C- while he scored 8 like Tyler but on double the FGA and had a bad TO himself.

    I know I come off as a big Tyler homer which is fine since he’s one of my Top-3 liked guys on the squad but I hate to seeing all players take more blame that what they should get. And it seems like he’s not judged on the same level as other players game after game and not just here but across Pacer Nation.

  • Havoc

    Just a quick comment about hibbert and west not getting into foul trouble like they did today. I agree more so with west than Hibbert. Hibebrt is way to slow to contain the dribbler of the pick and roll and gets caught on the back foot. If wade and james keep the mindset of attacking full throttle like they did today, hibbert’s effectiveness will be limited.

  • Chris D.

    I had a sense of dread coming into this game. Something kept eating at me. I figured there was no way the Pacers could bloom into a team with real playoff killer instinct in one game. That’s not to say I thought they’d lose, but I figured we might have to win in OT. I got lulled into the same confidence lat Q3 that I think afflicted Vogel. I figured since the Heat couldn’t push out to more than 10 points on our smaller squad, the bigger starters could snatch back the game at any time. It’s easy to see now that Vogel should have put the first squad back BEFORE after Haslem scored his third bucket with 6:00 to go. If you let Haslem get the hot hand, you’re toast. Oh, well. Vogel gets to learn how to coach in the playoffs just as much as the players have to learn how to play.

  • Zach Winningham

    Honestly, the only positive thing to walk away with from this victory: There is NO WAY that LeDeuche and Wade could play ANY better than they did today. 40 and 30 and HASLEM has 14?! And the game was still close all the way to the end? They will need to have two more games exactly like today to win two more times. I just can’t imagine a miraculous performance happening two more times.

    And obviously I agree that West and Hibbert sat for way too long. Spoelstra is leaving in their starters for nearly the entire game because it’s DO OR DIE TIME! Why can’t Vogel have the same killer instinct and just tell the starters, “Hey, we absolutely have to win this game so you might not be getting a lot of rest.” Instead, LeDeuche and Wade are playing against our bench for long stretches in the 2nd and 4th quarters every game. It’s astounding. We have to match them blow for blow, starter for starter. We have to prove that we are in as good of shape as they are.

  • Havoc

    Thats the problem though. Can you honestly say that anyone on the pacers with the exception of D West (and his offseason boxing regimen) is in as great shape as Lebron? Its tough but yea, counting on superhuman efforts like that for another 2 games is asking a lot. Then again, like both teams keep saying, each playoff game is a game on its own. Things change easily.

  • Realist

    I really feel either team is capable of winning in 6.

    Sidenote, how come the gold shirts weren’t out in full force again? Was that a one time thing?

  • Zach Winningham

    I don’t necessarily think that we have an individual player that is as physically fit as LeDeuche but I do think that adrenaline alone could fuel our starters to play for more minutes than they are used to, especially in a game like today. Minus maybe Hibbert. It’s the playoffs, pivotal games, they want to be out there. They aren’t happy for the resting time on the bench. If a guy fouls out with 2 or 3 minutes left, cross that bridge when you come to it and at that point you have to trust your bench. But when you have starters that aren’t on the floor until 6 minutes left in the 4th, that’s a mistake.

    Anyway, we have played very well in Miami and if we are able to keep the game close throughout we might be able to snag a victory. Honestly, I think whoever wins game 5 will also win game 6.

  • little B

    @ No look Pass,
    Won’t lie sometimes you do talk about Tyler WAY too much. But hey we all have our favorites. The timing of his 2 travels were huge but didnt cost the Pacers the game, and to be truthful he should have never been on the floor. Tyler is a part of the Pacers game, but not that important of a part. Well atleast in this series its obvious he(and the whole bench, not to just point at Tyler). Everyone thought the Pacers depthness was going to be the over the edge factor for the Pacers winning, which is kind of true, except the fact that Miami doesn’t play their bench at all and our bench gets destroyed by Miami’s starters.
    I like Tyler and his effort alot. The main problem I have with him is his inability to make in game adjustments due to how people are playing him and what the officials are calling. Travel or block me once shame on you…travel or block me twice shame on me.
    Tyler has not gotten many calls. The charge on him in game 3 ,when he was going for a dunk along the baseline and had his right arm slightly swing out, was bogus due to the fact haslem did the same thing 5 minutes later and got a foul call.

  • little B

    The 5 things that determine whether the Pacers win this series: (I will leave out officiating because they can’t control that, it has been bad, but not enough for the Pacers to overcome in any of the games)
    1. Rebounding (Wade and James had 27 rebounds compared to the Pacers 37 in G4)

    2. Vogel’s Line-up
    A. I think every postseason game the Pacers starting 5 has came out and had nearly a 10 point lead nearing the end of the first quarter and it has been lost almost every game once the bench has worked its way in. The Heat leave their starters in and Vogel takes his out and then the lead slips away.
    B. Half time adjustments. (Every game this series was determined by who came out and won in the 3rd quarter.)

    3. George Hill’s play. His control of the offense is key. The long droughts are pretty easy to explain. (not sure if they are easy to fix, give the Heat the credit of having a good defense) Turnover’s, quick contested difficult shots, not getting the hot hand the ball, etc. He has to find the mismatch and make them take the ball. (David West guarded by Battier). Finally he has to win his matchup with whoever is guarding him, unless it is Wade or James, which then he needs to find the mismatch. Collison has been amazing no doubt, but Hill would be doing the same against Cole. Hill needs to score in the 15 point range for the Pacers to win, or have double digit assists. Him having James and Wade cheat on him to open up options for the rest of the offense are critical to everyone elses success.

    4. Stupid Fouls (West 2 fouls on offensive side of court in G4)(Dahantay Jones everytime he comes in has more fouls than minutes). This could be ranked higher pending if it takes away from Hibbert or West’s floor time.

    5. The X factor for Miami: Every game the Heat have won: Wade, James, and a person to be named has an outstanding night. Eliminate one of those and the Pacers win.

    All of these factors occured in every loss the Pacers had. If they execute all of these, they win like G3. If they don’t execute any of these it turns out like game G1 and G4. If they execute some of these its more like G2.

    Notalbes: 6. Freethrows (lost G1 and uncharacterisic FT shooting)(Had decent FT shooting in G4 that kept them around)
    7. Aggresiveness to the basket. Drive to the hoop and don’t rely on jumpers. Take a note out of Miami’s book. James and Wade struggle when they have to rely on jumpers and don’t get gimme dunks. Also If Battier, Miller, Jones start hitting shots Pacers could be in trouble.

  • Jared Wade

    Tyler had two stints. He was helpful offensively on one, harmful on the other. That essentially evens out. Sure, he gave the team more good minutes offensively in the first but his inability to contribute is more glaring when it comes at a time when the team needs its supposed third best big man to hold down the fort while the starters are bench-ridden with foul trouble.

    But scoring/drawing fouls is half of his role on this team. He needs to keep Miami off the glass. The Heat got 5 offensive rebounds during his initial 10-minute stint while he got 1 rebound. Total. Both sides of the floor. He also missed all three shots he took in the 2nd quarter, one of which was blocked by Mario Chalmers. He got 0 rebounds in the 3rd (over 3 minutes) while Miami got 2 offensive rebounds.

    He gave the Pacers absolutely no help on the glass in a game they got out-rebounded 47-38 overall and 14-8 on the offensive end. That’s playing like hot garbage. It’s half his job and he simply didn’t show up at all.

    Amundson got 7 times as many boards as Tyler did in just 2 more minutes.

    Leandro also out-rebounded Tyler and took 5 shots in the paint. Two of these came in the super-critical early 4th quarter time frame, durin which he scored 4 points that nearly gave Indiana the lead back. He missed too many shots, indeed. But process-wise, that is what you want from one of the few (two with DC?) guys on the team who can go one-on-one and try to get a bucket at the hoop. He’s a scorer and when the team needed someone to score he did his damnest to go get some points. That 7-2 run that he and DC led is the only reason the Pacers didn’t lose by closer to 20.

  • Markus

    The one big issue with the Pacers right now is that Vogel is playing his bench too much. It’s nice to play with the hot hand and have a bench to give the starters a rest, but when Lebron and Wade are out there for most of the game and are starting to go crazy, he cannot expect good results. Lebron and Wade are too good to let bench players try to stop them. Simply as that. Granger, West, Hill, and George all need at least 42 minutes Tuesday night and then Roy needs around 38-40 minutes if the Pacers want to have a chance tomorrow. It’s crazy to think that Collison (though he seems to be able to do it by himself at times), Barbosa, Tyler, Amundson, and Jones can actually doing anything to stop Lebron and Wade for extened minutes like yesterday. It’s the playoffs; resting players is something done in the offseason. Foul trouble is one thing, but no Hibbert until half way through the second is not going to cut it. He missed half of the second half all together.

    Side notes:
    West needs the ball a lot more when Battier is on him.

    The big men have to quit getting the ball outside the paint. Throw it in there and if they get doubled then kick out for three or swing it around. (and for God’s sake make a good pass into the post to begin with)

    Barbosa needs to stop dribbling the shot clock out. It’s bad enough that he can’t shoot this series but he is killing the offense all together when he does that.

    If you are going to foul Lebron/Wade then foul them. The Heat have not converted that many and ones but they always get a shot up when they get fouled.

    If the starters have built a big lead then keep them in there!!! I’m tired of seeing Barbosa, Tyler, and Lou come in around the 3 minute mark. It’s like a power play for Miami until the end of the first quarter and the lead is basically gone.

  • Bat

    @little B Great Post, better than 8points9seconds writers. short&accurate.

  • little B

    Sorry I wrote chapters before and never wrote any comments on the grade(not like any body cares what I think). JW the grades look good. And with the late additional stats you just posted it shows that you do put alot of time and thought into this. Thank you sir. Keep up the good work. Good words, good words.

  • Jesse

    @bat I’ve said the same thing to @little b.

  • Mike

    Didn’t read every single word of these comments. Some of these posts are getting out of control. But I think waiting to put West and Hibbert in so long in the 4th doomed us. Wade and Bron were getting to the rim on every possesion. Meanwhile we had Lou running around with his head cut off in the paint. It was an absolute mess. He waited until Miami had the momentum for about 10 minutes before putting Hibb back in. He had 4 fouls for christ’s sake. Not 5. Why wait until 6 minutes left? It’s clear that he’s the x factor when it comes to us dominating the games. Have we seen G HIll and Collison playing together at all? Is that even possible against Miami?

    NLP – I’m glad you finally realized your Hands-bro bromance. I agree he’s gotten shafted on some calls. But you gotta take the hand you’re dealt. Those travels are magnified because they happened when he had clear scoring opportunities at a time when we desperately needed points. Rebounding was also an issue. He has stints where he’ll grab everything and everyone around him to secure the rock. We haven’t seen it this series. He should be able to body up this Heat squad and take a little more control of the paint. Hasn’t happened.

  • Joe

    It was really hard to swallow this one, because I felt (not thought, it was just a secure feeling I couldn’t take away) we had it in the bag. After game 1′s loss, I was a lot more confident than I was after this loss. Well anyway, here are some things we could think about before tomorrow night:
    1) Game 4 was played after 2-days rest, the other lost game was Game 1, when both teams had over 4 or 5 days of rest. In games 2 and 3 which they won, both teams only had 1 day inbetween to rest. The remaining 3 games have just one day separating each of them. So, maybe the reason James and Wade were able to go off was because they had more rest, something they will not get for the remainder of the series.
    2) They were outrebounded 47-38 (14-8 oREB), once again, they lose the rebounding battle and get beat. Particularly because they get LeBum grab 18 while their own leading reobunder had only 9. Miami shot 47.5%, but combining their previous three games, they were 37.5%… exactly 10% lower. The Pacers pretty much shot the way they have been all series long. It goes down to the fact that they ABSOLUTELY CANNOT allow Miami to get second chances like yesterday while giving themselves absolutely nothing. Rebounding has been their main weapon this year, and when they don’t win it, they lose, vice-versa.
    3) LeBum and Thugs (Wade) scored 40 and 30 points = 70… they also just wouldn’t miss. That is seriously just sickening, seeing the way Thugs drove to the basket though, the Pacers players looked shell-shocked. They were obviously not expecting this from him, so hopefully they will be better prepared for him. I can’t say if they will go off like this again, considering how they both shot over 50% while taking 50 out of the team’s 80 shots.

    These are just some points that look to favor Indiana, but I learned that listing pros don’t seem to mean as much as they seem when they take the field. One bittersweet thing, is that they’re playing in Miami now :P. The bitter part is because they’re away (duh), but the sweet part is… maybe they’ll remember how they got embarassed in their home court, so by hearing the Miami crowd, they will be more inspired and angry to take them to the ground.

    I honestly don’t have an opinion right now, it could go either way, but if the Pacers lose this game, I think they definitely lose the series.

  • NoLookPass

    @Jared

    Tyler played just 2:58 of the third quarter and in that time was just a -2 sure those 2 walks hurt bad but they still lost the rest of the second half by 14 without him and don’t DC missed 2 FT in that stint so if a 85.3 career foul shooter does his job its a even stint even with the walks.

    You can talk about rebounding but we lost the 4th quarter rebounding 17-7 and the Heat had as many offensive rebounds as we did total rebounds and Tyler didn’t even play that quarter! If you remove that quarter we win the rebound battle on both the defensive and offensive end so you whole third paragraph is meaningless and plays to my point he isn’t judged on the same curve. West/Roy/Granger/Lou had 4 rebounds in the 4th in 27:33 of the 4th James had 9 in 9:50 and Shane Battier had one less than our front line in 6:42.

    I also think you should go back and watch the game over and see that he had a couple boards taken from him by teammates most notably on a James missed FT in second half where PG hijacks one from him after he does the dirty work. Also if we want Tyler to get more rebounds we wouldn’t be playing him on the perimeter, doing so is why Lou get so many rebounds. Its honestly that simple since we don’t see West standing out at the three point line and when Tyler has his rebound games he’s not used that way.

    Barbosa shot 1-of-5 in the second half and 1-of-4 of that was in the 4th with a TO that went for a Dunk! Lets break it down….

    Tyler 8 Points on 5 shots, plus 4 FT so that’s 7 possessions, 2 TO so that’s 9
    Barbosa 8 points on 10 shots, plus 2 Ft so that’s 11 possessions, 1 TO so that’s 12

    We know one of Tyler’s TO went in and we know Barbosa’s went for a Wade dunk so the only unknown is if he would have made the other TO or would he missed or would it got blocked. We also Barbosa had 1 more board but Tyler had a block so they ended 2 Heat possessions on the defensive end each with Barbosa playing 4:28 more.

    I’m sorry but with those facts I don’t see how a guy getting the same amount of points in 3 less offensive possessions is worse than the guy with it more times especially when he had played worse defense!

  • NoLookPass

    @Mike
    Tyler is my 3rd favorite player on the team slightly above West mainly because he hasn’t not been in on the rebuilding. With my other two favorites Roy and PG but they are big time fan favorites and they always get the benefit of the doubt thus no need in defending them. Plus our starting 5 is good and rarely is the topic of discussion unless its Danny bricking or issues at the point so most of the debate falls on the bench witch Tyler is a part of leading to more talk.

    Tyler for some reason is a lightning rod in all of basketball not just our fans and he’s a player judged differently than anyone out there. Not may teams in NBA history have a 8th man on the depth chart be so dislike by the masses that he’s even a villain to a fraction of his own fanbase.

  • dwain

    Tyler kinda reminds me of the Worm, though is some ways his skills aren’t that good…and in other ways(offense) his sill is better. if Tyler can learn not to bring the ball down so far as to let defenders swipe it away from him(Roy exibits this problem as well) and just go straight to the hoop quickly with a chest high or higher pass he can develop an exciting game. u can see Tyler learning from every experience, his basketball IQ grows by leaps and bounds, he is like a huge footed puppy growing into his body…he will be a beast in a few years(hell he already is when cut loose)

  • NoLookPass

    Its amazing how many people on PD are murdering him saying he cost us game 4 questioning if he should even be in the league at all. Those two walks no doubt sucked and hurt but the dude had a 20 point PER36 if he made both of those shots it would been almost 31.

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