Post-Game Grades: No Kobe, No Problem for Lakers

I’m not sure how much to make of this loss. Obviously, the leaguewide angle is that Los Angeles can now beat high-level teams on the road without its best player. And that reflects as poorly on the Pacers as it does positively on the Lakers. I saw a lot of Lakers writers talking about how big this win was in a game where the team was able to get everyone involved.

Maybe that is true.

But more than anything, this game was just gross. The whole first half was a slog-fest of fouls (including a ton of offensive fouls) and video replays. A game that tipped off right after 7:00 pm didn’t see the third quarter start until something like 8:40.

Indiana shot 30.8% (16-for-52) in the first half vs. a scorching 35.7% (15-for-42), which was the key reason they were unable to capitalize on a 10-to-3 offensive rebounding edge. So many extra shots. So few extra points.

David West and Paul George couldn’t his sand in a desert, but as usual, the bench did more than its far share of the damage as well.

In the 5 minutes bridging the first two quarters in which Orlando Johnson played, for example, the Pacers were out-scored by 10 points. Essentially, the Pacers were up big early and then completely stopped being able to score as Los Angeles dropped about 4 points for every 1 Indiana was able to put on the board for a good 10-minute stretch.

Really difficult stuff to watch, and it was similar to the Miami game in the sense that a bunch of the turnovers (9 in the first half; 16 in the game, which led to 20 points) were just careless. Only, ya know, the Lakers don’t employ the type of passing-lane-jumping super-athletes that the Heat do.

George Hill (20 second-half points) was nearly enough to help the Pacers come back in the third and fourth quarters, but alas he got very little help and the Lakers made buckets at the end when they needed to. Meanwhile, Pacers other than Hill shot 2-for-9 in the final six minutes.

That’s too much to overcome, especially after you add in the big play of Steve Blake and Antawn Jamison (13 combined points in the fourth; 35 in the game; and 9-for-14 shooting from three), not to mention 19 points on 12 shots for the artist formerly known as Ron Artest.

So that’s how you lose to a team without Kobe Bryant.


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 38 MIN | 4-13 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 8 PTS | +1 

One of the worst games I’ve seen him play. Just off all night and you could tell it was getting to him. Seemed to really be hoping he wouldn’t get the ball and have to shoot out of a late pick-and-pop, catching in space but immediately giving the ball back to Hill.

Paul George, SF 36 MIN | 6-20 FG | 5-5 FT | 9 REB | 3 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 20 PTS | 0 

Yuck factory. Was struggling to make anything but kept heaving. Even threw in a November-like turnover where he was just pick-pocketed from behind in a crowd near the elbow.

Roy Hibbert, C 24 MIN | 3-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 10 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 7 PTS | +6 

Didn’t seem to play as bad as his shooting numbers look, but missed a few bunnies and battled foul trouble. Liked some of his work — on both ends — against Dwight though.

George Hill, PG 39 MIN | 11-19 FG | 1-2 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 27 PTS | +3 

Was everything for the Pacers in the third quarter and, really, the whole second half. He dropped 20 points in the final two quarters on 8-for-12 shooting.

Lance Stephenson, SG 37 MIN | 5-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 11 REB | 5 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 5 TO | 12 PTS | +8 

First career double-double (in a game with 107 missed FGs) and generally played well, if a little erratically on a few plays.

Tyler Hansbrough, PF 10 MIN | 1-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | -7 

Should have done more in a game where there were some favorable match ups.

Jeff Pendergraph, PF 10 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -6 

Not an effective defender of Dwight Howard. Glad we settled that.

Sam Young, SF 12 MIN | 2-3 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | -6 

Not bad.

Ian Mahinmi, C 14 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 4 PTS | -8 

Like Tyler, seems like he should have done more. But he struggled with foul trouble as well.

D.J. Augustin, PG 14 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 5 PTS | -11 

Made some plays.

Orlando Johnson, SG 5 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -10 

Very low minutes, but one of the first games since he entered the rotation that he hasn’t contributed at least a few points.

Tags: Game Recap



  • dwaink

    sorry pacers fans, this reporter has nothing good to say either, and while i was taught to say nothing at such times, i gave up a weeks pay and 5 hours of my life driving to this game:
    so we have one of the best coaching staffs in the league right,,,how does DHoward get in foul trouble(4 fouls) and finish a game? he was their most dominate player, how do u not drive the lane or dump it in to the big fella every play until Howard fouls out or is forced to sit and u turn an advantage into a huge game winning advantage? what is the mind set that fails to take this advantage and run with? i saw Hill do it once and Lance attempt it once…..
    oh and we need a new stat for the pacers, TA’s…throw aways, u know like when u mistake the ref for a team mate and throw the ball at him and he dodges it. this team looks like it is not even on the same page when it comes to driving(the lane or anywhere) with the ball. no one knows where to go or what to do if it isn’t just standing still, they don’t even wave at these passes…u know like …bye bye
    i saw one, count em one play that looked like some attempt at a motion play, of course it ended in a hoisted pertard as the shot clock failed, oh and that clock? wow that thing was starting too early all night, when the lakers had the ball and when Ian was in the paint.
    i felt like i was watching a playoff team gearing up and a team that had no will to win, no desire to win and spent most of the time that they were down and ineffectual moping around the court dragging their feet with their heads down…wtf is that
    this team has(the one that i watched) no ability to work an opponent on the offensive side of the ball, in fact they don’t work at all, they rest so they can play defense later…if u leave it all on the court and are gassed…won’t the coach put some fresh legs in for u?
    oh i think i did see something interesting, the Mamba start a game in the modern era and put up a goose egg…how often does that happen
    Pendy is the only player i saw really playing his heart out, out there tonight the rest seemed to be in some sleep walking maliase u have before u get to go home and fire up the game box…like i am at work at the end of the week and can’t wait to get home to fire up my PC and play Empire Total War, or whatever
    something better happen fast or it is going to be a tail spin time in the playoffs, and those few sports writers that had begun to give this team some credence…will never make that mistake again…
    oh and that thing where the stellar if too old(wish he was a Pacer) guard dribbles the ball around till u forget who u are guarding and that guy makes a stand alone open lay up? nah lets not go there
    btw i think an apt punishment for their performance tonight is for them to stand in the nose bleed section and watch this entire game, on that awesome screen, in 1/2 speed slow mo holding up their hands(high dammit) when they see themselves f-ing it up, blowing the play, throwing it away mailing it in goofing off, while little kids stand on the floor throwing over ripe oranges at them

    • lil-bang

      Yeah Vogel has one good play out of a time out tonight-PG hit a 3 off some screens. But then the next timeout the play is horrible and Hibbert has to drill a 3 because the shot clock is about to expire.
      Only disagreement I have with your statement is the final line. There were as many Lakers fans as Pacers fans there last night…and All the Lakers fans were in the lower level, so a kid would have had to heave it from the balcony.
      At the beginning of this season I truly wondered if Indianapolis could actually support 2 Professional sports teams. Until about halfway through the season I didn’t think they could, but after the Heat game, Clippers game and Lakers game, it somewhat proved me wrong. There are plenty of NBA fans around Indiana, they just need to be converted to Pacers fans somehow…One things for sure, if the Pacers don’t start getting a better fan base in the next couple years and they continue to play like this, they should move…somewhere they will get fans of their own to fill the seats.

      • Jack Wright

        why would anyone waste their money to see that trash of a performance

        • lil-bang

          The Pacers are 2nd in the East. Every team has bad games, yeah that game was horrible, but they played like crap and almost pulled it off.
          If people can’t afford to come I understand, but it appears there are plenty of people out there that can afford to come to the games. If you want to stay at home and watch the game that is fine, but don’t be upset when this team leaves town. Call some fans in Seattle, I’m sure they would love to have this team and would be willing to fill the seats.

          • Jack Wright

            I know, I know. I’m just so damn frustrated with my Pacers right now. That’s all.

      • dwaink

        well we don’t actually want the kids to hit them with oranges, might do damage…and shhhh i had a great time at the game, just wished my team didn’t suc worse than the other team…something or somebody needs to motivate them

  • Sam Myers

    I don’t want to be that guy, but the Lakers shot 30 free throws and Pacers had just 9. This game was over when Mahinmi and Hibbert each got 3 fouls with 8 minutes left in the 2nd quarter.

    • lil-bang

      That’s what happens when we don’t have many (if any) players that will drive to the rack…

  • ced

    A+ for Paul ? I don’t think he desserved it,

    I’m a bit worried about him, he tried too much at times, too much dribling, too much bad shots, stupids TOs, nah not an A+.

    he’s got to come back at what he does best, and let the game come to him.

    the Pacers got to show a little more now that we are enterring the final stretch, the 2nd spot is right there but we’ve got to be carrefull with our home court.

    • Jack Wright

      I think that A+ has got to be a mistake.

    • lil-bang

      I hope that A+ is a typo, if not this teacher must be sleeping with the student. Paul George had a couple highlights, but he had ALOT more low lights. If George Hill doesn’t get an A+ for shooting 11-19, how would someone get one for going 6-20? When is this kid going to learn to get to the foul line? It didn’t appear Howard was that intimidating to him when he drove right past him in the paint and dunked it…

  • Jack Wright

    Hahaha. And I thought we were good.. We suck. Paul George is terrible. He’s TERRIBLE! For the last three games or so, I’ve been finding myself cringing whenever PG gets the ball and starts to make a dribble or any kind of move toward the basket. It never turns out well. I’ve lost all of my trust in PG and transferred it to Lance Stephenson. He makes good things happen.

    This is the lowest I’ve been on the Pacers all season. Even lower than the first few weeks of the season. Bird was absolutely right – Whenever we play a good team, we’re SOFT. We have no confidence. And while we’re slumping and playing like trash, Miami is in the middle of a history-making winning streak. This makes me sick.

    And please, Vogel, stop letting PG take last second shots. I don’t care if it’s at the end of a quarter or at the end of the game, give the ball to someone else. The dude has no grit. He knows it’s not going in before he even lets go.

    The only positive thing I saw from last night was right after the game when Pacer players walked by the camera on their way to the locker room. I could see that George Hill was visibly upset. He looked mildly devastated by the loss. He was uncomfortable with it. I was glad to see that he genuinely hated the loss.

  • lil-bang

    I hope Vogel actually has a reason for switching the rotations around the second half of the season compared to the first. At the beginning of the season there was always atleast 1 starter on the floor, if not 2. The past few weeks he has gone back to last years trend of having the whole bench in at one time(early second and late third quarters), which gets us what happened last night…an 11 point lead erased to and 11 point deficit in the matter of less than a quarter. The pacers starting 5 had an 11 point lead in the first, then at the end of the second brought it from 11 down to 5 down before half, then in the 3rd got them up atleast 6, only problem was they couldn’t win the battle in the final 5 minutes of the game. Grant it the numbers don’t look good from the starters, but I will finally admit this bench is horrible. They look good individually, but together they have no chemistry. I hope Vogel is just trying things out before the playoffs to see what does and doesn’t work, but one thing is for sure, it has been proved this bench can’t do anything on its own.

  • dwaink

    per Mr Hill’s disgust at the overwhelming amount of Laker fans at the Pacers home court: it was kinda disconcerting but it comes with the territory and it isn’t about love of the game…it is about love of money over the game. he needs to talk to his agent about how much money a ticket holder can make selling a seat to out of town fans…i more than doubled someones money with the seat i got. maybe if the “job creators”(there is a pukeing mouthful) in Indiana paid what the same ilk do in LA, the fans around here could afford to outbid LA fans

    • Jack Wright

      the local lakers “fans” — in reality, they have no idea what it feels like to be a true fan — get to see their team play once a year, so they all jump at the opportunity. It’s nothing more than that. Hill shouldn’t make it a big deal. It sucks, but it’s the way it is. There’s just a sh*t load of people out there who root for the Lakers. I was hoping that the disappointment I saw in his face was about the loss, not about the fans.

  • Joe Betz

    Hibbert hitting a three pointer is all you need to know about the Pacers offensive efficiency…not just last night, but more or less for the season. I turned this game on at half time, and when I saw the pacers were shooting 30% in the first half, I knew they would lose the game, even though they were only down five.

    What we know: the Pacers starting five has been elite this season despite awful shooting nights like last night.

    What we hope happens: on nights the starters are off, the bench provides more than simply holding strength. Danny Granger does return this season and is strong in the playoffs. Lance and PG can develop enough over the final ~10-15 games to truly challenge whichever team the Pacers face in a likely ECF matchup (cough, the Heat).