A much better showing tonight for the Pacers. The 3rd quarter has been the Achilles heel for this squad all season long, but tonight the 3rd quarter was the turning point in this game, with the Pacers outscoring the Hawks by 13. The 4th quarter, though, was a completely different story. Suffice it to say that this team has some issues that need to be addressed sooner than later. Tonight we’ll be beginning out Thanksgiving themed grades. We’ll start with TURKEYS, obviously.
This offense is bad. Despite an above average first half, the second half is probably what we should be expecting from this lineup. Being held under 40 points in a half is bad, especially when there’s a quarter with less than 10 points. The turnover problem looks a little better. They still had too many for my taste, but had less than their obscenely high average. The three point shooting absolutely needs to be better. Shooting below 30% as team is pathetic. Another thing that needs to be addressed is the lack of free throws. This team is missing its best offensive weapon, and needs to figure out how to make up for it.
Once again, the defense, as a team, was good. Except for the Spurs blowout, the Pacers have not given up 100 points yet. That being said, these guys have to know when they’re in a game that isn’t going to be a shootout. Halfway through the 4th quarter the Pacers had a 14 point lead. It’s times like that when the defense needs to lock in and put the game away. I know the offense wasn’t scoring, but a great way to alleviate that issue is to keep the other team out of the points column.
David West and George Hill were very good. Each one had 20 points, to lead the Pacers. Hill also had 4 steals, 5 assists, and 3 rebounds. For the second straight game, Roy Hibbert forgot to show up. After a measly 2 points on Monday, he only managed 9 points and 7 rebounds tonight. When you’re a giant human, these are not acceptable numbers. Sam Young is technically a starter, but sees the floor less than most of the bench players. Paul George played like he always does, but that is not going to be enough, clearly, if the Pacers want to actually win some games.
Lance Stephenson passed the eye test, but did not actually have very good numbers. He shot only 3-10, and 1-4 from beyond the arc. As a whole, the bench shot 20% from deep, which is not going to beat anyone. Tyler Hansbrough has consistently looked over eager. He’s like a spazzy, athletic kid who hasn’t learned how to use his new body. It might be Vogel attempting to match up with the smaller Hawks, but I’d like to see Ian Mahinmi get more than 8 minutes.
When I was thinking about this part before the game ended, I was ready to write some great things. WOOO A BIG WIN BY OUR BOYZZ!!!1!1 But NOOOO, these guys screwed up in a big way. Kyle Korver singlehandedly brought Atlanta back. He went to Creighton for Christ sake. He’s the slowest guy in the league. He was 1-7 from deep until the 4th quarter, then, BOOM, he remembers how to shoot. I’m upset, you guys, and I don’t even know what to blame. Bad Pacers? Good Hawks? Jeff Teague (who will always be Eskimo bro)? Look, the Pacers have a lot of work to do, and not a lot of time to address these issues. They have blown a couple of big leads already this year, but this time they couldn’t hold off the bad guys. If someone doesn’t step up, in a very big way, this is the type of game we should get used to.