Post-Game Grades: Tired Pacers Outwork Philly for Fifth Straight Win

Writing a short recap may seem like a lazy insult to a Pacer team who has won three games in as many nights, delivering their most dominating performance when clearly running on fumes. However, there’s just not a lot I can add to what they did.

From wire-to-wire, Indiana looked like the superior team, but they also looked like they could simply run out of gas at any moment.

They did not, and it was Philly who was overwhelmed.

In this 88-69 victory over the Sixers, the Pacers only trailed for 46 seconds in the game. Indy maintained a double-digit cushion for over 17 of the final 20 minutes of the contest.

Like I said earlier tonight, Frank Vogel and his charges are putting a good product on the floor. Make sure you’re not missing it.

Team win, and everybody gets A+’s tonight.

(Note: Due to technical difficulties with the box score, the player stat lines are not available tonight.)


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.

Frank Vogel

Not a fan of grading the coach, but gotta share the love here. Said he was treating the back-to-back-to-back set like a normal back-to-back. Frank’s team looked clearly gassed, yet thoroughly outworked the host Sixers. Three games. Three nights. Three double-digits wins. Get down with your bad self.

David West, PF Not Available

If you don’t like David West, we can’t be friends.

Paul George, SF Not Available

Here’s a stat for you: PG has played 123 minutes since Monday. Jeff Pendergraph and Miles Plumlee have combined to play 101 minutes since Halloween. Looked tired, but still better than most of his games in November.

Roy Hibbert, C Not Available

Best game of the season, and it’s not close.

George Hill, PG Not Available

Feels to me like his two floaters in the fourth quarter broke Philly’s back.

Lance Stephenson, SG Not Available

Loved the energy early. Contributing even when not playing great. Incredible growth this season.

Tyler Hansbrough, PF Not Available

Played with more energy than entire Sixer team.

Sam Young, SF Not Available

The rising tide sinks all ships…or something like that.

Ian Mahinmi, C Not Available

Yeah…him, too.

D.J. Augustin, PG Not Available

Team win. Team A+’s.

Orlando Johnson, SG Not Available

Step back. Step back.

Tags: Game Recap

  • djmcba

    Love that Vogel is leaving Roy out there for the entire first even when Roy tries to come to the bench because he is tired. I am not sure of the logic- my guesses would either be that he thinks Roy’s struggles are partly due to lack of endurance or since they are making such a concerted effort to go to him in the first, and he has responded, Frank is trying to force him to assert himself even when a little tired. Whatever the reason, I think over the course of the year it will pay dividends for the big fella and reinforces what a great coaching staff we have.

    Saw what happens when Tyler doesn’t get calls his way, essentially five+ wasted possessions but on a night especially like tonight his energy was sorely needed.

    Lastly, I would like to see Orlando start taking some more of Sam Young’s minutes. Not that they are totally interchangeable players but more Orlando, less Sam please.

    • greeson_todd

      Definitely agree with the OJ/Young comment. I thought Young was at least supposed to do one thing (play defense) well. But he seemingly is incapable of doing that. And airball jumpers seem to be commonplace.

    • NLP

      So if you miss after an offensive rebound its a wasted possession in your book rather than not capitalizing on a second chance opportunity that wouldn’t been there without the rebound?

      • djmcba

        Absolutely. Think of the first possession like a sunk cost in economics.

        I would make a distinction between simply missing after an offensive board and trying to immediately force up a very low percentage shot. I have no problem when a guy goes back up with an offensive rebound, but if he’s doing it for the sake of doing it, rather than taking advantage of the fact he created a new possession by either taking a high percentage shot or restarting the offense to find one, then it’s completely wasting that new possession.

        • NLP

          That’s BS if you can get a tip or a shot off in the paint off a scramble you take it every time, if someone makes a play or the refs don’t blow the whistle then so be it. For someone who claims not to dislike Tyler you love to nit pick him like nobody else here..

          You say he essentially wasted five+ possessions but that’s quite the fraudulent total. When Hawes tied him he won the toss and we scored on his assist, his next miss was a wild tip shot and was the only way of even saving the trip, he missed a bad shot on his 3rd one so if you want to call that one then fine, then a miss, then the 2 misses off offensive rebounds, he had his make and then a long jumper missed in the 4th right after his sweet steal.

          I’m not seeing 5+ wasted possessions unless every miss counts, and then you don’t even mention the ones he saved on defense so it must not go both ways.

          • djmcba

            Relax holmes. Step back, deep breath – are you Ben Hansbrough?

            I believe I have specifically praised Tyler’s play in my previous three posts by the way. Not every ORB is a scramble, in fact, a tip is not an offensive rebound. To qualify as an ORB the player has to gain possession. I have no problem with the tip-in attempts, but when you collect the ball on an offensive rebound with three players surrounding you, forcing it up for the sake of forcing it up isn’t prudent basketball.

            In the first half alone (if memory serves correctly) he had his shot blocked 3 times, missed 2 putbacks, and missed about 6 shots at the rim in total. None of his three ORB’s led to points. Feel free to compile all the data you would like, go through the play by play, whatever. It doesn’t change what is and what isn’t smart basketball.

          • NLP

            Everywhere says he got blocked just twice and missed 4 shots total at the rim all over the period where nobody was getting calls to get to the line unless assaulted and one of those came on an tip attempt that never had a shot to go in. One of those two blocks the maintained possession and him winning the toss lead to the Pacer scoring on a Tyler assist. Speaking of his assists do you still not think he’s passing better? Even with all the bricks and passed up shots off his passes he now has 5 more assists in 31 less MP than Ian along with 15 less TO.

            You said he cost them 5 plus possessions so where are the others at? Your two main beefs are the Spencer Hawes when they ended up scoring on after winning the toss, and the scramble in the lane after DJ got blocked which you give him two knocks on being wasted trips which is ignorant since its all part of the same trips since they wouldn’t have taken place if not for rebounds. You always claim not to dislike him but you never mention the possessions he saved or broken up on defense and always, and I mean always exaggerate the negative plays.

          • djmcba

            There we go again with your biased use of statistics…really holding him to a high bar comparing his assist/to ratio to our back-up defensive-minded center.

            But in all seriousness Ben, I am not going to waste my time again trying to dissuade you from your belief that Tyler is a beast on the low block. I think your brother is a solid player, but has a couple areas of his game that could use improvement.

            As a matter of principle I think there is benefit to taking a quality shot after an offensive rebound rather than immediately forcing it back up simply because you have earned your team another possession. That applies to the whole team, not just Tyler – though his aggressiveness makes him prone to immediately force it back up regardless of whether or not it’s a good look.

          • NLP

            Damn those unbiased stats its better to just make things up like you, right?

          • djmcba

            No Ben, its better to have data perspicacity than spit out statistical drivel i.e. to point out his improved passing you use a statistic (either AR or A:TO) in which he is second to last on the team (barely ahead of Ian and miles behind everyone else…I can look up numbers too). In that context, I’m not sure how you can reasonably call me biased for anything I’ve said.

            Just looked it up – 1 for 8. Blocked Twice. Missed five shots within four feet. 3 ORB in which the possession gained led to zero points (unless you want to count the tie ball possession in which we got another offensive rebound before converting our third attempt at a score). Sorry for so severely exaggerating – changes everything.

            I can’t believe you’ve almost drug me into this again.

          • NLP

            Sorry Rocky Dennis but while on the subject of things we can’t believe, I can’t believe your dad didn’t pull out! His sister must still be pissed about that.

            You seriously have to be mentally handicapped if you can’t see Tyler has improved leaps and bounds as a passer. Its clear as day you don’t watch these games by saying he hasn’t, and it kills any credibility in what you say because people who don’t even like him give him props for it. You also have gone full retard if you think Tyler isn’t better suited getting into the lane. Since last time we had this talk he’s got far more points in the paint, leading to more rebounds and more FTa and the bench playing better,.

            Last 7 game’s since our previous debate with him getting the ball more in the paint and he’s at 7.6 PPG and 4.3 RPG and 4 FTA a game in just over 13 and a half minutes a game including his first Double-Double of the year. In the 7 games prior to those he was at 5.4 and 2.9 with 1.7 FTA while getting more PT a game with most all his limited success coming in the paint on that run.

            His PER has jumped over a point in that time to 14.63 which is down from 14.77 after shooting a bad percentage, That PER is 5th best on the team by 2.28 and the best bench PER by 2.71 and his Win Share per 48 is tied with PG for 3rd best on the team so when he’s out there and used right he has a major impact on games, and none of that comes from shooting long jumpers.

            So with that said Its clear to anyone with a brain what’s better for Tyler to be effective and the bench unit as a whole but you still apparently have your head up your ass so you can’t see it, and with that big ass Rocky Dennis head you got I’m shocked it fits but I guess all that molestation from your father over the years loosen things up for you.

          • Will

            Jumping into the fire on this one! Whew! Look…we can crunch stats all we want. Yes, Tyler has a “league average” PER and he’s an amazing energy guy. That’s where he’s making his money. We’ve all seen on plenty of occasions that his hustle, power, and sheer will has got him some burn and turned games around.

            But if you’re truly honest with yourself, he’s just not THAT skilled. He’s good, he’s got skill, but against the best in the entire world? He’s living it up. He really has to do something about that jump shot. If he can show he can consistently hit that, he’ll get more room to bruise down low, or, have a chance to make open layups/dunks. Remember when he was burning the Knicks, Chicago, etc? He was in a groove hitting jumpers and that opened up the rest of his game. I feel he’s an important cog off the bench, due to the energy. I’m rooting for him just like you are.

            I’ve been more impressed by his defense. At least his acumen is growing.

            But the team has a winning formula! Something is working…

            This is what my experience and eyes are telling me.

          • djmcba

            Rookie move Will – you don’t smack talk Psycho T when NLP has already entered internet hulk-out mode.

            Prepare yourself for a world of pain.

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  • NLP

    7 FT combined at the break is the lowest I can recall watching in a game. The game saw just 12 FTA over the first 35:03 until we somehow managed to hit the bonus, and then 20 FTA over the last 12:57. The 76ers only shot 4 FT in the 4th but it was still more than they took over the first 3 quarters combined. Those fouls not getting called resulted in an amazing 33-for-99 combined shooting effort in the first half!

    • greeson_todd

      Having watched the whole game, I can recall about 75 times when the referees swallowed their whistles lol…

      • lil-bang

        Didn’t get to see the game but was very surprised to see Philly only went to the line 7 times…Normally a team that is tired fouls alot. I assumed some the whistles were kept quit here, but still weird to see Philly only shoot 8 three pointers but only get to the line 7 times…Nice

  • lil-bang

    Well the Pacers answered my question I had yesterday…could the defense step it up on the road once the shooting failed? Boy did it.
    Philly only had 7 FT attempts, 34% shooting, 25% on their 3 pt attempts (only 8), 15 TO…Well Done Pacers.

    Only thing that confused me was how Philly got 8 more shot attempts…oh well doesnt matter.

  • Ian

    I remember the Heat blowing out the Pacers at the end of their back-to-back-to-back sweep. Spoelstra challenged them to win all three. It seemed something that might drive them all season to the title hopefully this has similar effect!

  • Jack Wright

    currently watching skip and stephen a. debate whether the pacers are a threat to the heat in the playoffs. what a laughable conversation (even though stephen a. says they are a threat). neither of them know jack sh*t about what they’re talkin about–particularly skip, who says the celtics are the heat’s biggest threat. (…that’s so stupid it really isn’t even funny.)

    i’m not one of those fans who gets all sensitive when sports “analysts” (give me a freakin’ break) and media figures ignore, overlook, or disrespect my team–i prefer it that way, actually–but honestly….. watching these goofballs talk about my pacers… i don’t know whether to laugh hysterically or grimace and cringe.

    • Philip Tarrant

      Skip is the least educated ESPN “analyst.” There, I think I’ve insulted him sufficiently enough. I would compare it to coming in last at the special olympics, but I have a lot more respect for those sports guys.

  • Joe Betz

    Important Take Away: The Pacers shot terribly from all areas and still dominated this game vs. just squeaking it out. They are winning in more ways that one now, and in a playoff series, you have to be able to do that.