Boston Celtics (15-17) 94
Indiana Pacers (19-14) 75
This was not the performance I expected out of the Indiana Pacers after gearing up for some tough games. It was almost like the Pacers were surprised by the intensity the Celtics were bringing to this game. But remember, the Celtics have two of the more intense players in the league in Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo. It felt like the Pacers couldn’t execute anything, and just fell down like a fighter going down in a big fight.
It was all ugly for the Pacers in this one. They shot their lowest percentage of the year in 32%. They put up a measly 75 points, which will never get the job done against any team. David West and Paul George both go cold. Both shot 4-18 from the field. Not what you want from your two best players and scoring options. They actually took a majority of the shots for the Pacers last night, which is not how the Pacers play their game.
About the only bright spot was Tyler Hansbrough, who looked to be his usual intense self and was about the only Pacers player who looked interested in playing. He leads the way with 17 points. Also, he took a nice arm to the face by Kevin Garnett, which lead to Garnett’s ejection.
The Pacers did get a chance to see what Orlando Johnson could do. He didn’t look to afraid at taking a shot right into Paul Pierce, which is a good sign. He was actually playing with the D-League team in Fort Wayne, the night before. Then had to catch a flight to make it to Boston, which he probably didn’t think he would end up playing in. But once the Pacers got down 20 in that third quarter, and with a game tonight, you knew the bench would be emptied.
Now the Pacers will head back to Banker’s Life for four straight home games. So this is a good shot to put away that performance. It’s a good way to get things back in the right direction, and at least the Pacers are still right up top of the Central Division. It’s just one loss, and the Pacers can get back to the winning tonight against the Bucks, who have already beat them twice. If that’s not motivation to beat a team, then I don’t know what is. The Pacers should bring their best effort tonight, and hopefully knock out the Bucks.