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.

IND LAL

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.

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