Post-Game Grades: Pacers Shellshock the Heat

As Sidney Deane said, you either smoke, or you get smoked — and you god smooked.

“Two times,” added Wyclef.

It’s the regular season and all that so probably shouldn’t read too too much into all this, but it was quite the display for a team coming off a discouraging road trip and maybe down on itself a little bit. A win over the champs has to help this team get back on track, and perhaps a performance like this is what it needs to kickstart the offense. The Pacers scored as well as they have this season against a good team.

David West has never lacked for confidence, but a game like this just further proves that he can’t be stopped by players that can’t match his physicality. That should do wonders for this team’s overall psyche if it faces Miami again this postseason.

Meanwhile … Paul George. Jeez. These are his “bad” games now.

Really not much more you can say.

There was nothing that is super impressive in terms of stats, but his overall demeanor and decision to remain uber-agressive really show how rapidly his game has growth since the beginning of the year. He has never, ever been this confident. Maybe inwardly, but it has never been on display as it is almost every night now. His ball-handling lapses, while still there, don’t seem there. If that makes sense. Once, they always seemed to be in the back of his mind, and the result was a default passivity that preferred open jumpers to having the ball in his hands.

The kid still loves his threes but he doesn’t seem to have that preference anymore. He knows he has these big bear claws and he seems fine to let the defender chose their mauling location. His entire approach to the game right now is one of the more enjoyable things to watch in the entire NBA.

On both ends.

There will be more time to highlight how uplifting it should be for the Pacers to dismantle the only team in the East they fear twice on their home court this season. Ultimately, the stretch of schedule between now and the All-Star break is just as important as tonight’s game. The run of home games will be nice, but there is the back-to-back-to-back to deal with, and three of the opponents are Chicago, Brooklyn and Atlanta.

Any of those teams can beat Indiana no matter the location.

Unlike, ya know, Miami.

Heat pacers

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 36 MIN | 12-15 FG | 6-6 FT | 7 REB | 5 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 30 PTS | +9 

The best player on the court for either team. Couldn’t miss. Heart and soul.

Paul George, SF 41 MIN | 6-11 FG | 2-4 FT | 6 REB | 6 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 15 PTS | +10 

Picked up a couple of silly fouls early trying to go toe-to-toe with LeBron, and missed all five threes he took after making his first of the evening. But his presence was there and he made things tough on Miami on both ends.

Roy Hibbert, C 30 MIN | 3-8 FG | 1-2 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 2 TO | 7 PTS | +10 

Not that it wasn’t already but this is becoming a really big problem. Showed up late and looked like a different player for a short stretch but his first half was simply unacceptable.

George Hill, PG 35 MIN | 4-9 FG | 2-3 FT | 2 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 12 PTS | +6 

Didn’t make a ton of plays but seemed to make some when they were needed. Which is pretty much his middle name. It’s a long middle name, I admit.

Lance Stephenson, SG 39 MIN | 6-11 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 15 PTS | +11 

Took some really bad shots, but started the game 4-for-5 and even played some nice defense on Wade a few times. Was dangerous in space. Sometimes you just wish he wouldn’t try to force his way into open space in the half court so often.

Tyler Hansbrough, PF 12 MIN | 4-8 FG | 3-4 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 11 PTS | +4 

Just an absolute monster. He should have gotten a few more calls even, but he came in and changed the game. Hate how cliché it is, but Miami, in the regular season at least, can’t match his intensity.

Sam Young, SF 11 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | +1 

Welcome back. Pissed Bosh off something awful to the point he drew a technical after being called for hitting Young on a weird lob-breakup play. Pass interference or something.

Ian Mahinmi, C 18 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 4 PTS | +3 

Sure.

D.J. Augustin, PG 13 MIN | 1-2 FG | 1-1 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | +7 

Hit a nice kick out three from Paul George but I don’t remember most of his 13 minutes. In a good way. The bench seemed quite capable of letting Miami back in the game late in the third but they held serve without a single issue.

Orlando Johnson, SG 4 MIN | 1-1 FG | 1-2 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 4 PTS | +4 

I think this kid is officially pretty good.

Tags: Game Recap

  • greeson_todd

    I think Johnson is solid as well. I know that I sure do not cower when I see him throw up a jumper, as I do at times with Gerald Green. The bench has been so much more impressive the past month. And I also agree about PG, man, just love how he fills it up, even when he isn’t filling it up.

  • dwaink

    wow what a nice picture for all of those that never see the Pacers on tv, hope Hill isn’t badly hurt(that was scary) DWest is a mans mans mans man and he laid it on em tonight. when the bench first came in they stopped my heart with how badly outclassed they looked, but they came around slowly, thought Ian had a nice game though, played well on D and had some nice put back scores. disagree with u _todd(though i can understand it) i was thinking get Green in there for scoring when the bench looked so lost but they got their legs finnaly and came around to hold their own(while DWest was resting) the Roy thing is really troubleing, perhaps he will score 50 points a game in the playoffs, i just don’t get the sense that he is having any fun out there and he needs to

    • greeson_todd

      No problem in disagreeing sir, and I do agree Green probably deserves minutes, but sometimes it is hard to watch a guy go 3-13 in limited minutes with insane talent…night after night after night…ad infinitum

      • greeson_todd

        Forgot to add, and 11 of the attempts being of the jumper variety. THAT is the most frustrating.

        • dwaink

          i think that is Greens problem, the offensive sets they put him in, he needs the ball around the rim so his hops can get him clicking, then the jumpers will fall

  • Realist

    Uniforms looked sweet. Both teams in fact.

    • Jack Wright

      agreed

  • Joe Betz

    The first night, it was Paul George. Last night, it was David West. The Pacers match up well with the Heat at nearly every position, and considering Hibbert is having below average games more often than above average, the Pacers are just scary–all without Danny Granger.

    Hopeful Notes:

    Hibbert will benefit from the All-Star break and become more consistent with a healthy Granger in the starting lineup.

    The quick growth of O.J. will push Green to step up his game and earn his way back onto the court.

    Lance Stephenson can become a second-unit leader.

    The second-unit becomes one of the most high-energy reserve squads in the league–(D.J. / Lance / Green (o.j. – young) / T.H./ Mahinmi) and starts scoring points.

    • Derek Cooper

      Hope pacers know they still need to grow. We can count on DW to be a man+ do big things- but he won’t usually go 12-15 and 6-6 fgs+fts. And heat probly won’t leave battier vs. Hans anymore. And the the birdman is a great fit for them. And in the playoffs james-wade-bosh will play better+ more mins. And if bosh gets his jumper going +draws roy away from the paint on D that’s tough. Still think we have a decent shot at them in the playoffs but really they’re a muuch bigger threat to us than we are to them right now. If we can do a little deal and upgrade our bench a little to give stephenson a better group to roll with I’ll feel better about our odds.

  • djmcba

    How bout them ‘cers. Came down from Chicago to go to the game last night and it was not a disappointment. It was kind of a strange game, if you told me beforehand that the Pacers were going to completely outclass the Heat I wouldn’t have predicted it would go down in the manner it did. Great team W.

    A couple notes:

    Throwback uniforms were awesome. I wouldn’t mind a little uni upgrade. I think last year someone in Indy designed a uniform that was a cross between the ABA’s and the flowjo’s that was pretty sweet.

    When D.West gets announced at home I wish we could insert a soundbite of Mark Jackson saying, “Mama, that is one baaaad man.”

    Lance shows some absolute flashes of brilliance but has got to find a way to keep some semblance of composure. You can just see the desire to succeed oozing out of him and that occasionally, a little too occasionally, manifests itself in some comically bad basketball. It’s great to see him play well against the Heat after last year when LeBron claimed to never have heard of Lance in the playoffs.

    Tyler was great last night – did a tremendous job taking advantage of the fact that the Heat have absolutely no defensive presence in the paint.

    I though Ian did a nice job last night. Made a couple plays when we needed them on the boards.

    Roy has always struggled against the quickness of undersized defenders, but holy sh*t, he was atrocious last night. It’s getting to the point where he is a negative on the offensive end – so much so that maybe we need to stop making any effort of playing through him. Yikes.

    Hopefully we can use this win to finish strong to the break. Considering our schedule, we could conceivably be in the 2 spot if we do.

  • Derek Cooper

    Compliments to T.Hans for some monster impact lately. Still his inside shots that he’s done a great job of converting against miami and in utah look like such a high degree of difficulty -I would be hesitant to count on those going down consistantly. And wondering utah has unathletic frontline+ miami has a smallish frontline–thinking maybe TH can’t do much against big athlitic frontlines. Still if pendergraph is right there on tylers level (judging from some of vogels praise of pend. Preseason to just a few days ago…) maybe good idea to trade Hans. I know pendergraph is same size 6′ 9” or 10” and 250 lbs– supposed to be more athletic +better finishing inside– JP (pendergraph) shot 79% FTs in college and great % from floor. TH 3.5 million Dj.Augustine 3.5 million both expiring contracts…I think we need a trade to set up lance for some great success with the second unit– second unit right now I think isn’t great situation to run with lance in my opinion…

    • Derek Cooper

      I read earlier in the season how Ian has converted a low % of shots inside. Also mostly id say T.Hans isn’t good at finishing inside– and we know ian has had some issues just catching passes inside– if those are the 2 big guy options for lance to dish to that’s not good. That’s why I say if JP is more athletic +better inside finisher that helps Stephenson and the entire second unit– makes sense to trade tylers 3.5 mil expiring contract…

      • Jack Wright

        u might be right dude

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