Post-Game Grades: The One That Got Away ... Pacers Fall to Raptors in OT 100-98

In my younger days, I read a great deal of Tom Clancy. It was in those books where I was introduced to the concept that the most competent people – the most trusted – were also the ones in the position to fail the most spectacularly.

That’s what happened tonight to the Indiana Pacers.

“I just can’t be that careless at the end of the game with the ball. I second-guessed myself, hesitated a little bit, and threw it short. We just didn’t close the game the right way, and so, we didn’t get the win. They made the plays to close the game, and we didn’t.”

That’s David West describing the pivotal play in the Pacers’ 100-98 overtime loss to the Toronto Raptors. Up two with six seconds left, Indy just needed to get the ball inbounds and hit free throws. That’s when West made an ill-advised attempt to hit a streaking Lance Stephenson that Rudy Gay picked off. An Amir Johnson putback at the buzzer got Toronto five extra minutes.

That play will get the focus, with good reason. However, it was far from the only way the Pacers cost themselves a win. In a two-point overtime loss, the Pacers made 19 turnovers (including two in the last minute of OT), gave up 27 second chance points, and missed 9 of 28 free throws.

Late in a rocky fourth quarter, back-to-back threes by Paul George and George Hill looked to have given Indiana enough altitude to take the win. But they just couldn’t close it out. The Pacers led for most of the game, but it never felt like they really controlled it.

West could feel it, too. “Yeah. We knew it was going to be a tough game. Rudy’s given them some new life…but we just didn’t have the mindset to close this game. When you go up four with 12 seconds to play, you just got to be careful with the ball. You can’t give them out of bounds – no time comes off the clock – and they get a dunk.”

It’s a bitter end to what has been an otherwise been a very successful week. David West acknowledged that – despite what they accomplished earlier this week – this could be the type of loss that sticks with them.

“We feel like we should have won this game,” West said. “When you’re careless…you just don’t make the plays…you know, it doesn’t matter what you did before. We went through that three-game stretch, in my opinion, we beat three tougher teams than the team we faced tonight. We had a great opportunity tonight to improve ourselves in the standings, and we just couldn’t capitalize.”

And with that, both a five-game overall winning streak and a 15-game home winning streak were snapped. The Pacers looked tired on Wednesday, but still dominated the Philadelphia 76ers. Tonight, they were not sharp, and it cost them.


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 41 MIN | 11-20 FG | 8-10 FT | 8 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 5 TO | 30 PTS | +9“I just can’t be that careless at the end of the game with the ball.” A+ game. F- finish. I guess that’s a C.
Paul George, SF 47 MIN | 8-19 FG | 5-6 FT | 14 REB | 5 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 26 PTS | -3Rudy Gay scored late, but so made so many tough shots…still only shot 9-for-25. Huge game…wasted.
Roy Hibbert, C 38 MIN | 3-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 5 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | +65 Blocks. Nothing else of any import or value. Mostly outplayed by whichever Raptor big man you care to name.
George Hill, PG 38 MIN | 3-8 FG | 2-4 FT | 3 REB | 5 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 9 PTS | +4When Hill hit a huge 3 late in the fourth, I thought it was going to be one of those games where he does nothing, then delivers late. Then he missed two of four free throws and had a killer turnover with 10 seconds left in OT.
Lance Stephenson, SG 39 MIN | 4-11 FG | 1-2 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 11 PTS | -4Weakest game in awhile. Got generally torched by DeMar DeRozan.

Tyler Hansbrough, PF 12 MIN | 1-1 FG | 1-2 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 3 PTS | -9When it’s the fourth game…
Gerald Green, SF 6 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | +1in five nights…
Ian Mahinmi, C 15 MIN | 3-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 4 TO | 6 PTS | -6and the bench gives you…
D.J. Augustin, PG 15 MIN | 1-1 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 4 PTS | -8absolutely nothing on the home floor…
Orlando Johnson, SG 14 MIN | 1-4 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 3 PTS | 0They all fail.

Tags: Game Recap

  • Josh Baker

    Can’t forget the pass from West to Hill that sailed way over Hill’s head late in OT. Two huge crunch time mistakes from the Pacers best crunch time player. Can’t think that’ll happen again.

    It’s one of those oddities that the Pacers have lost 4 times at home and two of those have been to the Raptors.

  • NLP

    Frank should get the F not the bench if you want more out of them, they only got to take 11 shots as a unit and made 6 to shoot 54.5% on the night. The Pacers bench got 1.45 per attempt the Toronto bench who shot 25 more times with a worse percentage got 1.03 per attempt our starting 5 was at 1.22 points per FGa tonight.

    When Toronto went on the big 10-0 run to start the 4th OJ took the second units only 2 shots with PG and Roy missing 2 each, and Lance adding another. Ian, Tyler and DJ who have been taking turns carrying the bench load was left to watch the others brick the lead away.

    Speaking Frank, did we not have any T.O. left to advance the ball and put in FT shooters at the end of the 4th on West’s bad pass? With 6.2 seconds left we could have killed off a big chunk of the time and got 2 FT out of it to potentially ice the game.

    • Jack Wright

      The bench still looked absolutely awful, dude. And West knows better than to make that horrid pass.

    • Jack Wright

      But I agree that coaching was a big part of it. You think the Spurs would EVER have lost that game being up four at home with 10 secs left against the Toronto Raptors? Spurs lose that game zero times out of a thousand.

    • Jack Wright

      NLP, can you name the last time Hansbrough made a jump shot during a game? I’m really not trying to pick on you, but, out of everybody, you’d be the guy to ask. The funny thing is that I’ve really liked how Hansbrough’s been playing lately. He’s been a nice asset. But it just crossed my mind that I can’t recall him making a single jump shot in like 2 months. I probably missed a couple he made in there.

    • lil-bang

      I think your spot on NLP. He did give the bench one little chance out there in the 2nd to play together but I think that was it. Bench should have got more PT this game. I think the result would have been different. Starters had nothing left. I was surprised they made it to OT.

  • Realist

    Man, this sucks. We should’ve gone undefeated for February.

    Not to mention we could (should?) be undefeated at home.

    20-4, with the 4 losses (taken from ESPN game recap headlines):

    “Raptors edge Pacers despite scoring 5 points in fourth quarter”
    “Spurs erase 17-point deficit behind Tony Parker’s 33 points”
    “Late 10-0 spurt catapults Nuggets by Pacers”
    “Rudy Gay, Raptors end Pacers’ 15-game home win streak in OT”

    The more I think about it, the more I’m spewin’. We should’ve been threatening the ’86 Celtics 40-1 mark.

    • Realist

      Of course I mean that _after_ we got through that B2B2B stretch, obviously.

      Still, how do you lose a game up 4 with 10 seconds left. With no Reggie Millers anywhere.

      • Jack Wright


  • Derek Cooper

    Trevor ariza is overpaid and not a great offensive player__yet counterintuitively enough_I think if we trade for him our offence can go crazy ina good way._tricks up my sleeve_long explanation coming. I’ll use initials like this tyler hansbrough= TH. First off disclaimer I know very little compared to ppl who do this as a job but here my thoughts based on what little I know and making presumptions in place of superdetailed statistical and video analysis that a pro would have time to actually do. Anyway here’s the trade TH 3mil expiring(rfa)+ Dj.A 3.5mil expiring+ GG 3.5mil x3years+ draft pick maybe? Trade to wizards for__trevor ariza 7.2mil this yr 7.7mil next+ aj price about 0.5mil + jan vesely 3.2mil this yr 3.2 mil next year. Expiring contracts for ariza gives them cap space this summer and ariza over paid anyway . Green last year with the nets proved to be a good effecient scorer and exciting athlete but stinks this year_ vesley is completely unproooven but his contract ends a year earlier__ ariza and vesleys contracts both end the summer we’ll need space to resign paul george+lance__if we kept green it would cut in on that. Vesleys involved just for money and price just as a 3rd stringer. Ariza let’s us do crazy lineup tricks

    • Derek Cooper

      My main idea is all about setting up a second unit that can score and defend. Our starters are good but DW and RH are slow and their strengths are maximized in a slow pace half court game. Posting up offensively _half court game. In a running fast pace game their post presence and using size+ muscle for D +rebounding is minimized_in a fast pace game a faster opposing 4+5s can outrun them to rebounding +scoring opportunities so their value increases in a slow pace game +decreases in an uptempo game. Which is fine. And LS +PG+GH can still opportunisticly fast break some. Ariza like 3 yrs ago had a reputation as a great wing defender I’m assuming he’s still at least a ‘very good’ wing defender he’s 27 years old. Its well documented that our starting 5 this yr with lance is very good statisticly and that our starting 5 last year with granger was very good statisticly. I believe ariza is a good bit better at defending + rebounding+more athletic than DG and a little less good offensively…also TA better at dribbling and bit better on passing vs turnovers_ similar in being a smart experienced playoff tested veterin. I believe you could sub in TA with our starters at the 2 or 3 spot and have virtually no or very little dropoff. So it seems reasonable to think while playing a slow grinding style with DW+RH at the 4+5 spots+ GH at point we can interchange any of these four LS_PG_DG_TA at the wing spots and in quality and functionality its a very good group–this allows me the necessary minutes to put together this uptempo group for 10-20 minutes a night– 1 LS_2 PG_3 TA_4 DG_ 5 I’M. If there’s a quick opposing pointguard PG+ LS can crossmatch. LS+PG would share point duties on offense. Here the groups heights 6’5”_6’10”_6’8”_6’8”_6’11”

      • Derek Cooper

        The strenghs of LS_PG_TA and I’M are all MAXIMIZED in a mobile uptempo group that can rebound + defend and MORE MAXIMIZED in occaisional half court sets when DG as a stretch 4 provides great spacing. U don’t really know til u try it out but what I’m saying is LOGICLY TRUE. has individual player rebound percentages listed_ the% of rebounds a player gets while on the floor_ if u add up LS 7% PG 11.8% TA 10.3% DG 8% I’M 13.2% = 50.3% a bit over half and that’s not even taking into account that a spread out half court setup increases offensive rebounds and rebounding in an open court game is less muscle +wrestleing+carving out space to rebound__its more mobility athleticism and length..exactly what this group has. And DG way back when played some powerforward when troy murphy broke his nose or something+ I remember DG increasing his rebounding quite a bit over that stretch. The only weakness defensively would be DG I’m not sure if its a small or not so small deficientcy_ but I know a more uptempo game minimizes it. Since the heat rock at uptempo its worth noting this unit could go slow against them wed still have great half court options__four perimeter players spaced out +ian pick on ball way out high +roll or pop. Ideal situation to flashpost lance or paul who are huge at the 1+2 spots. LS+PG main facilitators from a pic+roll on the perimeter or from the post. TA+DG both steady veterin presences smart players. Granted turnovers are a bit of a concern with young LS+PG making things happen but we put them in an ideal situation to succeed and its worth the risk. Arizas free throw the past four year going up .65 .70 .78 .83 past 8 yrs fg% fluctuates .54 to .40 on threes pretty consistantly .33 which isn’t great but about equal to GH I believe. By comparison JR Smith shoots .40 fg and .32 on threes.

        • Derek Cooper

          And if some how this unit didn’t work out we could always use I’M to spell both 4+5 spots or vogels always saying how good pendergraph is…..oh and ariza last 5 yrs around 11 pts 5 rebs. Its all about how his game let’s us put players in certain advantageous situations. In 2 yrs if stuff works out we could likely sign him to a much cheaper contract if we wanted to. Also ariza not much to’s about 1.5 last 5 yrs. Last yr 3.3 assists 4 yr ago career high 3.8 apg.

          • Jack Wright

            I’m on board. We improve with that trade. It’s a bit risky to do that right now simply because Hansbrough has some (fairly) consistent upside with his rebounding and ability to get to the line–although I thought the same thing last year during the regular season and he became a liability against the Heat in the playoffs–and DJ has been hitting his 3s and playing solidly with the exception of the Raptors game. I might be talking myself out of this trade as I’m typing this. Ehhhhhhh….. I’d do it. I’d do the trade.

          • Derek Cooper

            Last yr keven garnetts production went crazy good when the coach moved him from pf to center. Currently rudy gays stats are going crazy cuz in memphis he played slow pace with 2 good big guys down low crowding the interior with themselves+ their defendrs on offence__toronto is a particular scenario with certain teammates causing a different defence against his team__its more ideal to maximize his strengths. Changing the players someone plays with can sometimes affect a huge change in a players ability to produce. Also all that increased production boston and toronto gets with that doesn’t cost any extra. Its an efficient use of money which teams only have so much of if they’re not LA or NY etc.

          • Derek Cooper

            Here’s an example of how the minutes can work. In reality the wings mins might be more varied but I’ll show em nice+even here.So there’s 48 mins to distibute to 5 positions. We’ll say this game we want 34 mins of a grinding(slow) unit and 14mins of the mobile(uptempo) unit. 34+14=48 mins=1 game. GRINDING UNIT 1_GH..34. 2_PG..20. 3_DG..20. 4_DW..34. 5_RH..34. Wing subs with grinding unit LS..14. TA..14 (lance and ariza play some with the grinders so that danny+ paul have enough mins to play also with the mobile unit which includes all 4 wings.) Ok now the MOBILE UNIT 1_LS..14. 2_PG..14. 3_TA..14. 4_DG..14. 5_IM..14. –no subs needed with mobile group. Total mins (grinders+mobile)= GH34 PG34 DG34 DW34 RH34 LS28 TA28 IM14. Depending on the opponent its easy to swing minutes between the grinders+mobiles. If u wanted to use the mobile unit alot in a game.. Like 20 mins u’d use GH to give lance+paul a little breather at point. If u want to grind it out+ use west+roy abunch say against the heat u can just use mahini to spell them both afew mins say 2 mins each split the grindermobile minutes at 408 and west+roy’d both get 38 mins. Mobile group minimized __and the mobile group seems able to play slow too. Its an 8 player rotation with constant individual quality and great flexibility to go uptempo when its helpful and then don’t have to on nights it wouldn’t be

          • Derek Cooper

            The real beauty I believe would be maximizing production of DW+RH with the grinding unit and them maximizing production of LS PG TA IM in the mobile unit.

  • Jack Wright

    I really had a hard time watching this game. We just sucked from beginning to end. Our bench was embarrassing. Our starters were careless and sloppy and couldn’t make shots. Honestly, Toronto didn’t even play that well. The difference at the end of the game was that while Toronto was playing to win, we were playing not to lose.

    One thing I’d like to hear your perspectives on involves Vogel; specifically, I’m sure we’ve all noticed by now that he never (as far as I’ve seen) shows any sort of anger at his players, whether at an individual player who screws up or at the team as a whole when they’re all playing like crap. Maybe he saves the latter for the locker room. I don’t know. But when a player makes a couple bad plays in a row, I don’t think you’ll ever see Vogel get in the player’s face in the slightest sense, let alone yell at him. It’s even rare for Vogel to yank the guy out of the game. There were several times last night when I was screaming at the TV screen for Vogel to pull Mahinmi’s ass out of there (Mahinmi was SUCKING). But Vogel showed little to no emotion each time Ian screwed up. There’s plenty of examples of this each game.

    I guess I’d like to start seeing a little more Popovich / Bobby Knight in Vogel. A coach CANNOT be afraid of hurting his players’ feelings, and I really hope this isn’t the case with Vogel. I’m not just saying this because we lost at home to a bad team; I’ve been thinking about this for awhile now. I have the same feelings about Tom Crean. And I’m not advocating that Vogel turn into some kind of hothead screaming maniac.. But sometimes a player–even an NBA player–needs to wake the hell up, and there’s no quicker way in the world for this to happen than for his coach to get into his face and show some raw emotion. It tightens the screws of a team and teaches them a bit of discipline. It also makes it even sweeter when the coach offers some praise to the player. That player knows he’s earned that praise.

    Anyway, what do you guys think?

    • Joe Betz

      Vogel’s approach is constant cheerleader and confidence builder for the players he knows have the ability to play well. So, this is why we hear about late night phone calls to Roy, George talking up Vogel’s likability, etc. Vogel makes his points with the minutes he gives bench guys (DJA, Green) and is attempting to use that as fuel. There is no doubt that without Green stepping up to provide some amount of consistency after the all-star break the Pacers will not advance in the playoffs past the second round. For me, I don’t want him to use the yell tactic to get his players up…he’s still a young coach gaining credibility—the players know it….he knows it….so he is doing the smart thing.

      • Jack Wright

        I disagree that our postseason hopes ride on whether or not Green starts playing well with any consistency. Just don’t see why that is necessarily true. We just went through a nice stretch of games when he never saw any time on the floor at all, and before long one of our best players will be returning which will mean less minutes to go around for some bench players. Green could end up being borderline meaningless, and that’s okay as far as I’m concerned.

        And about George talking up Vogel’s likability: Do we care how likable our coach is? How does that matter? Maybe I’m missing the point. To me a good coach is not a cheerleader. He’s a coach. He’s not supposed to always be on his players’ good sides. But overall right now I’m not exactly sure how I feel about this aspect of Vogel. I’m just pointing out an observation which worries me somewhat. At the same time I realize that Vogel’s done a good job with this team.

        One thing I will point out here is that we have a severe problem with turning the ball over. We definitely need to see Vogel become more proactive during games in order to fix this problem. That means yanking guys out of games more often when they make careless TOs. It could mean giving Benny Hansbrough a few minutes in the 2nd quarter every once in a while when DJ is playing sloppy. It could mean sitting down PG sometimes when he’s not tired. It could mean giving Pendergraph some sporadic minutes. But something that I hope we can all agree on is that it’s extremely important that Vogel starts tightening the screws on this team in regards to taking care of the ball. Otherwise the Heat are going to eat us alive with transition points when we play in Miami in the playoffs.

        I also think the phrase “yell tactic” is unfair and doesn’t actually apply to what I’m talking about. This isn’t about yelling or tactics, it’s about a coach getting his players to quit playing so dang sloppy. And every once in a while that may require some players seeing the ugly side of Vogel. Just my opinion.

        • Joe Betz

          For me, it’s a credibility issue. You highlighted Pop and Knight, and I think those are guys who get away with showing their frustration. Vogel is nowhere close to that level with his players yet…but, I’m with you in hoping there is some harder talk in the locke room

  • Joe Betz

    Perspective: The Pacers had a bigillion turnovers and couldn’t hit a free throw yet still should have won. Happy, kind of, with that..

  • penis

    I like Vogel’s coaching style it seems to work. Our team plays with enough passion that they don’t really need a coach to be riding their asses for them to play harder….. This game was just one of those fluke games where you’ve gotten a little cocky and don’t mentally prepare for the Toronto Raptors, even though they just aqcuired rudy

  • dwaink

    so what are the refs going to allow now? scratching biting and kicking? hair pulling? i don’t often like to blame refs for how a game turns out and the Pacers blew this game early and late, but there had to have been 20 missed calls against the Raptors in this game, fore arm bars, triple walks, shoves in the back on every rebound…it was pathetic(almost as bad as the Pacers played) surprised none of this got mentioned..were u guys watching the same game i was?

    • Jack Wright

      I didn’t really notice, probably because a well officiated basketball game is something I’ve completely given up on in the NBA.

  • lil-bang

    Tough loss. Sucks they beat 3 good teams back to back to back then throw one away to end some good streaks they had going. But its one game. Some possible flags could be popping up, but I wouldnt read much into it. They will never play 4 games in 5 nights again. These guys were exhausted. It should have been the benches chance to step it up, but Vogel really never gave them a chance. For the first time in a long time he did have them all out there at once (not for very long), but when the starters were just dragging he should have just put the bench in and seen if they could have won the game, could have given them alot of confidence. Not giving them a chance at all isn’t helping their confidence anyways.

    When Paul George(reason I don’t think he should get an A grade) is just standing in the corner with his hands on his knees and Lance is the only moving around on offense and just starts firing up shots in the 4th quarter, then you have to put someone else is, otherwise a guy like Rudy Gay will just take over. Easy to say it know, but Rudy Gay sucked against the Pacers until he realized the starters had nothing left in the tank.

    Not sure if Frank was just making his starters stay in so they could try and finish this week off knowing the all star break is almost here, but he may have gassed them completely out for the next 2 games. Lets hope not.