Indiana Pacers 96 Minnesota Timberwolves 91
Raise your hand if you had a starting line up of Paul George, Gerald Green, D.J. Augustin, Ian Mahinmi, and David West. That’s the line up that started last night’s home preseason game for the Pacers. Roy Hibbert, Danny Granger, and George Hill sat out this game all due to various reasons. But somehow this Pacers team found a way to put together a 19-0 fourth quarter run to get themselves back in the game and take control of the game. That’s definitely a good sign of things to come. Paul George leads the way with 19 points and looked to be more aggressive than usual. Gerald Green chipped in with his own 18 points. Even Ben Hansbrough looked good adding 10 points and 7 assists. So what did I learn from this game?
- Paul George can go into beast mode when given the chance. If he can get around 15 points per game for the Pacers just think how much better his game will be and how much of an asset that will be to the Pacers. This season he should look to be more aggressive and I think the Pacers will run the offense through him at times to give him that opportunity.
- Gerald Green is my Pacers X-Factor as I am not sure what to expect from him, but he had a good game last night with 18 points and 6 rebounds. He averaged 12 points last season in his return to the NBA, so anything close to that 12 points per game would be ideal for a bench player. Plus he seems to bring energy to the game, and that would be great for the second unit.
- Guys like Jeff Pendergraph, Miles Plumlee, and Ben Hansbrough got plenty of time in this game to show what they could do. I think that’s really what the Pacers want to accomplish this preseason see what those type of players could add to the team. Plumlee seemed a bit lost out there at times, and I’m still not sure he’s worth the first round draft pick that the Pacers used on him. Pendergraph will probably end up playing some garbage minutes for the Pacers again this season unless an injury happens. Hansbrough might not even find himself on the team after the preseason, but he was productive last night, so if he can continue that this preseason, maybe there is a roster spot for him.
The jury will be out on this Pacers team until the regular season starts up. But that 19-0 run is something to hang your hat on. You don’t want to put yourself in bad holes throughout the season. But if you can climb out like the Pacers did last night, that’s going to bode well down the road.