Post-Game Grades: Pacers Shut Down Magic

The fact is that the Pacers haven’t beaten a high-level team in a while. They lost to the Clippers to close February and then coughed up games to the Heat, Celtics and Kobe-less Lakers. Good teams lose to good teams all the time, so while discouraging, those defeats didn’t seem to mean too too much.

Then, they went to Philadelphia and got handled on a Saturday night, however. That, combined with the fact that the Bulls are the only playoff team the Pacers have beaten this month. Meanwhile, Danny Granger isn’t returning any time soon and David West is now ailing.

Again, this is not cause for panic.

But I was started to grow a little concerned.

With this in mind, it has been nice to see Indiana smoke two bad teams in a row. Beating good teams is perhaps more encouraging, but smacking down the league’s woodchipper fodder can relieve some worry as well.

The Cavaliers and Magic have now been tossed into the mulch bag.

Now, it will be revealing to see how Indiana plays in its next five games (Milwaukee, @Chicago, Atlanta, @Houston, @Dallas). Those are all beatable squads that are in theory a tier — or more — below the Pacers (though having to go on the road for three makes it that much tougher).

If they get through with at least a winning record, no worries.

How they win and lose matters, but if they head into April on a down swing, it will probably bring back that concern I had before tonight.

Pacers Magic

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.

Tyler Hansbrough, PF 27 MIN | 4-14 FG | 6-7 FT | 14 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 14 PTS | +5 

Some of his offensive boards were on his own misses, which can either be viewed as “why so inaccurate?” or “way to follow up your mistakes.” Better yet was his ability to fit in seamlessly for the injured David West at the other end.

Paul George, SF 28 MIN | 7-14 FG | 4-4 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 19 PTS | +5 

Scored 6 pts during the 13-2 run Indiana went on to close the first quarter, which was essentially all the separation they needed.

Roy Hibbert, C 24 MIN | 3-8 FG | 3-3 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 9 PTS | +10 

Seemed to play even less than he did. Had one nice, aggressive dunk. Always promising to see.

George Hill, PG 31 MIN | 6-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 14 PTS | +22 

He’s a very good point guard. I may not have always thought so last year, but he is.

Lance Stephenson, SG 26 MIN | 1-5 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 4 PTS | +10 

His inability to hit open threes has become troubling.

Miles Plumlee, PF 4 MIN | 0-2 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 1 PTS | -3 

Hit a free throw. (I was watching Denver/Oklahoma City by then, I believe.)

Jeff Pendergraph, PF 21 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 4 PTS | +17 

Looking like a decent “mop up” guy, to borrow some baseball terminology. Particularly against a bad team, can soak up some minutes without particularly hurting or helping. Something to be said for that.

Sam Young, SF 4 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | 0 

Samuel.

Gerald Green, SF 20 MIN | 6-13 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 15 PTS | +17 

If Vogel can just get him to be an auto-pilot scorer at times for a reserve unit, he may have some playoff utility. If Orlando Johnson errs, at least.

Ian Mahinmi, C 19 MIN | 3-5 FG | 3-4 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 9 PTS | +13 

Typical Mahinmi.

Ben Hansbrough, PG 4 MIN | 0-1 FG | 2-2 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -3 

The Hansbrough who didn’t start at PF.

D.J. Augustin, PG 13 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | +5 

OK.

Orlando Johnson, SG 18 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 5 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | +12 

Thought he wasn’t allowed to miss three-pointers? Shot 2-for-2 inside the arc though.

Topics: Game Recap

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  • Philip Tarrant

    That flip-up and one by PG was insane. Love the aggression on that dunk by Hibb, though it was lacking most of the rest of the game by indications. I watched the highlights on NBATV and they said of Green that he was having a really good year getting time with Danny down. I wanted to reach into the TV and punch the guy. Still, we could use more of THIS Green.

  • kemosabe

    Oj needs an A-. 8 boards, 5 dimes and a block. All in less time than Lance. Pacers have very good rebounding wings. Even Hill is a good rebounder.

    • Realist

      Say what you will about Vogel and his x’s and o’s as a coach, but he has definitely made this the best rebounding team in the league. No accident.

      • djmcba

        Concur – now if he could just convince PG that he isn’t CP3 and to make crisp easy passes…

  • Jack Wright

    Just a winning record over the next five games wouldn’t satisfy me. We need to start to really take care of business… We should win all five.

    • Realist

      Agree. David West somewhat crucial though, although Tyler is ballin’.

  • mb

    Tyler deserves an A. Did u not see the buzzer beater he had AFTER having those abdominal cramps?

    • http://twitter.com/wdeeit Will

      It’s crazy how a guy who goes 4-14 doesn’t hurt his team. But he really means a lot with that energy…even when he’s missing shots. It’s an anomaly.

      • NLP

        8 of his 10 misses stayed with the Pacers last night so its not like a normal one and done brick, When he shoots around the paint and especially when playing with Roy chances are one are going to get it or the attention they draw will open it up for someone else to find a way to pick it up off a defection.

        Per36 Roy leads the NBA in offensive rebounds 4.7 and Tyler at 4.1 is tied for 11th with Ian not too far back with Ian 36th. Along with our defense leading to a ton of defensive rebounds and our bigs being monster on the offensive glass is why we lead the NBA in rebounding.

        Its also why I get so frustrated and say Frank is misusing Tyler when he’s always out by the 3 point line as it takes away the 3 things that make his game work in hitting the glass, getting FT and pissing teams off.

        EDIT:
        Interesting tweet from NBA stats…

        Hansbrough w/ 9 Off.Rebs last night. Post All-Star, @Pacers have team-best 35.4% OREB% w/ Tyler ON floor – team-worst 27.2% w/ him OFF
        https://twitter.com/nbastats/status/314451525189640192

        His PER36 offensive rebounds in the 15 second half games is 5.1!

        • djmcba

          Out of curiosity, not looking to get into any sort of debate to say the least, but why do you tend to prefer PER36 stats – it would seem that PER36 when comparing back-ups to starters is a little useless as it doesn’t account for game pace, fatigue etc. At the same time, most starters only play around 36 mpg and it would makes to be a very effective comparison of bench players to bench players – i’ll default to you on stats though (5.1 orb per 36 has to be towards the top regardless)…

          I still say T needs to spend his entire summer working on nothing but consistently hitting the mid-range jumper- if he does he could some day be a NBA starting caliber PF (DWest used to not be able to reliably hit that jumper either).

          • NLP

            PER36 puts everyone the same level in production per min played. PG is going to put stats up by default playing 37:23 while its hard to stockpile big stats for Tyler playing 16:06 a game.

            Who gets to the line better West or Tyler?

            On a per game level West leads 4.3 to 3.6 but PER 36 its 8.0 a game for Tyler vs 4.6 for David. We’ve played 68 games so among players playing at least 680 MP or a fair 10 MP a game Tyler ranks 4th in the NBA in FTA PER36 behind Harden, Howard and Durant and West is 46th behind Ian at 44th. He also doesn’t have the luxury of hack a Howard or getting to shoot technical FT or having the ball in his hand every times there is an end game fouling situation or the questionable star calls the names get.

            Once you get past the old time stats its clear to see who get to the line at a better rate. Examples like that is why P36 is used and why they keep track of it.

            Also Tyler has clearly already shown to be a starting caliber PF in this league He has 33 starts in his career and is shooting 49.5% averaging 14.2 and 6.7 in 26:41 a game or a PER36 of 19.1 and 9.0.

    • djmcba

      Looked like he got shot – I thought his appendix must have burst.

  • Jack Wright

    Anyone else been getting that annoying Lasvegas.com ad whenever they get on here? Been happening recently.. not sure if it’s just my computer or what

  • Joe Betz

    “Typical Mahinmi.” This shows how consistent he has been this year. Serviceable big man who can shoot it and use his athleticism to defend…I like it. So much less, “DC! Where are you!” for the past several weeks/months.