Post-Game Grades: Pacers Take 4th Quarter Off, Get Embarrassed by the Knicks in Game 2

I’ve never seen anything like that. I’m sure Elias Sports or ESPN Stats & Info can find a similar brand of failure. But the Pacers started the fourth quarter off getting outscored 20-0. Going back even further, the Knicks mounted a 30-2 run. Also a 36-4 run after an ill-advised timeout that is already being debated as controversial. Take you pick on which run looks worse aesthetically.

Both are vomit reheated.

The funny part is that, minutes earlier, the Pacers had improbably taken a lead.

Indiana trailed by double digits in the first half but came roaring back in the third quarter. The team had been sloppy with the ball all game (15 turnovers through three-and-a-half quarters) and couldn’t get to the line. They really hadn’t played particularly well. So I was honestly surprised to see that a Lance Stephenson three-pointer with 4:20 to play in the period actually gave them the lead.

The Pacers were up 61-60 with just over 16 minutes to play. It’s comical to even type that now knowing what ensued.

They seemed to be sitting pretty. Their best, sloppiest ball seemed to be behind them. They were starting to put it all together. David West, after the game, mentioned that it seemed like they had New York on the ropes. It was time to seize the day, put on the clamps defensively and go get on a plane up 2-0 in the series headed to Indiana.

Hilarious.

Instead, they opted for the choose-your-own-adventure nightmare behind door number two. “I’ll take getting outscored 36-4 over a 12:19 stretch for $1,000, Alex.” (I know I’m mixing my game-show metaphors here.)

It was one of the most embarrassing, hard-to-believe things I’ve ever seen. It seemed like make believe. Seriously, they gave up a 30-2 run at one point while the Knicks scored the first 20 points of the fourth quarter. Yes. Fourth-quarter scoring was 20-0. Indiana went more than eight minutes without scoring a point. While employing professional basketball players, almost all of which make more than $1 million per year to play basketball as a job.

It turns out that those ropes West talked about must have been the same ones Muhammad Ali leaned on in Zaire. Because the Pacers took a George Foreman-sized L in this one.

We could discuss other aspects of the game. (Why all the turnovers? New York’s strategic shift to not attack the rim. Paul George scoring efficiently on the road. An odd time out and substitution by Frank Vogel that seemingly prompted the collapse.)

But why bother?

One thing trumped all else: Indiana couldn’t score nary a single point for eight minutes while the Knicks couldn’t miss.

Laughing is the only response — unless perhaps you’re more the crying type.

It’s also gallows-y funny that Reggie Miller was on the sidelines broadcasting the game for TNT. When he was on the Pacers playing in MSG in the playoffs, fourth quarters got weird. He once scored 25 points in the final 12 minutes, for example. There was 8 points in 8.9 seconds. Patrick Ewing missed wide-open finger rolls.

Well, now, there is one more epic playoff memory created by these rival: 0 points, 8 minutes.

Despicable stuff.

Laugh. Cry. Do whatever you want. Just don’t expect to ever see something that strange, and embarrassing, again anytime soon.

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 

So bad.

Paul George, SF 

Bad.

Roy Hibbert, C

So bad.

George Hill, PG 

So bad.

 

Lance Stephenson, SG

So bad.

Tyler Hansbrough, PF

So bad.

Sam Young, SF

So bad.

Ian Mahinmi, C 

So bad.

D.J. Augustin, PG 

So bad.

Frank Vogel 

So bad.

* stats are for closers

Topics: 2013 Playoffs, Game Recap, Pacers Vs. Knicks

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  • http://twitter.com/eric_bezerra Éric Bezerra

    Couldn’t agree more with the grades.

  • Ian

    No point in posting grades if you give everyone an F…

    • Hemmerstein

      I can’t agree more. Some of them were really bad, but I thought Stephenson had a pretty decent game from everything I remember.

      • Derek U

        Lance took too many 3′s, but I agree. PG was on his game tonight when he couldn’t get a foul called to save a life.

  • Rex

    Wow….I was watching the game till the Pacers tied up the game at 64 then I had to go somewhere so I DVR’d the game, I honestly don’t know how that happened the Pacers had the momentum and were ready to put the Knicks away and take a 2-0 lead then all of the sudden they can’t do anything right that was amazing.

    But on the bright side at least we took a home court advantage from the Knicks and just have to win the games on our home court starting with Game 3 on Saturday.

    I predicted Pacers in 6 at the beginning of this series and I am sticking with it despite this loss, expect the Pacers to bounce back and take Game 3 and 4 and have the Knicks on the brink of elimination.

    • Rex

      Pacers do need to stop turning the ball over though, 21 turnovers is absolutely inexcusable.

  • Avi Friedman

    That time out really killed the pace. Obviously it wasn’t the main thing that lost the game but the fans were in the same mood from game 1 at the point when Vogel called the time out. The Knicks were playing right in to the Pacers slow style of play. After the timeout they came back and quickened the pace. Probably could’ve pushed the lead to above 2…

  • lil-bang

    Well Pendergraph got exposed last night. Ian needs to be getting more minutes so Hibbert isn’t playing 40 minutes a night. Ian was a 0 on the +/- last night and a +8 game one. I like that Vogel is playing the starters alot, but the double Nickel is going to be gassed come games 5,6,7 when there is only one off day between each game.

    This revolving door of lineups seems silly, and is a big part of the TO issue. Hill or DJ need to bring the ball up and that’s it. Plus DJ and Young should never be on the court together at the same time. Last night looked the Pacers @ Atlanta games 3 adn 4. Just as long as the Pacers play at home like they did against ATL, this series will end in 5 or 6.

    Last night could have been a curse or blessing letting Melo get (somewhat) hot. He will hopefully turn into Iso-selfish Melo, let’s just hope he gets back into his slump. JR will hopefully stay mentally screwed up as well. Thought he was going to lose it missing that first free throw last night, he is in a state of mind where he thinks he can’t do anything. Let’s keep it that way.
    GO PACERS

    • Skelton, Jason

      I agree about Pendergraph. The Knicks are too potent of an offensive machine so we need the size to make them work at the rim. Can Hibbert play 40 minutes a night? I sure hope so. Ending on a Debbie Downer: I will be a little surprised if the Pacers win the series. I remember the 8 pts, 9 sec series…we lost.

  • Ian

    Like most, I thought the timeout was weird. But I think it was because the Pacers had a habit of trying to go for the ‘killer’ shot after taking a lead in a game like this, and Vogel was trying to keep the team grinding it out. I thought Vogel was on target all game with his timeouts until that point.
    I actually stopped watching for a bit after the mini-run NY put on at the end of the 3rd and I’m very glad I did.
    There seemed to definitely be a lack of adjustments on the part of the Pacers to the Knicks defense. Rather than find a new way to get the ball up the court and get entry passes in, they kept putting the entry passer on an island and fronting the post players, resulting in traps and turnovers. It was frustrating that several times after coming in off a timeout the Pacers turned the ball over again on set plays.
    Finally I still don’t understand the playoff rotations. Why is Sam Young getting so much playing time. Why is OJ glued to the pine, or Gerald Green who had a couple of good games against Atlanta?

  • NLP

    Terrible job of getting our big men into the game. Big Roy and West get 14 shots between them then Tyler, Jeff and Ian all get no shots in 26 and a half MP off the bench. The first third of the game our big men had just 4 shots which is just asking to get beat. Lance shot as many 3 balls as West and Roy had FG each he made one they shot 50% between them.

    Our bench has issues no doubt but we have to try and get more out of them as they took just 4 shots before garbage time in just under 29 total MP, its puts way to much pressure on our starting 5 to be perfect. Also when everyone out there knows who is and who isn’t going to shoot it makes us way too predicable and they can clamp down on the starters out there with the bench players.

    • DownUnderMet

      I think this comment nailed it. Lead or no lead in the 3rd qtr, we never established our inside game, and it showed. Hibbs has been playing so well lately offensively, and West is our Rock. Sure PG24 looked good in the first half, but when we needed to settle down when their run started, we had nothing going down low. Slow it down, work it in, get to the line. That’s how you stop a run. Throw this game out. It’s still 1-1 and we have homecourt now. Let’s bury this series back in Indy.

  • Jack Wright

    Pacers have a superior team to the Knicks. There are absolutely no excuses for this kind of meltdown in the playoffs. If we lose this series, Vogel needs to get kicked out of town. He overplays the bench. He instills no toughness in his players. He’s not an X’s and O’s guy. He’s been unable to solve his team’s turnover problem. He waits too long to call a timeout when we need to regroup (..and he apparently also calls timeouts right at the peak of our positive momentum swings). His team has been underachieving all year long and has been the picture of inconsistency. Granger or no Granger, we can and should do better than this. Period. A playoff loss at New York isn’t necessarily something to worry about.. But two utter embarrassing performances on the road against inferior teams in the playoffs (one in Atlanta, one in New York) are definitely something to be concerned about.

  • Andrew Wills

    god forbid you actually try to analyze the game… this blog has been absolutely terrible this season… absolutely awful… last season at least you actually analyzed the games… quit your job and let someone who cares at all about the team run this blog

    • Andrew Wills

      seriously, you had better not be getting paid for this amateur hour BS

      • http://www.8points9seconds.com/ Jared Wade

        Please by all means stop reading.

        • Andrew Wills

          Thats the thing Jared, I dont want to stop reading, I want to read about my team, it is frustrating to come here for professional anaylsis and see straight F’s with no actual thought… Its frustrating to see others get so much in depth analysis of their teams, and then to come here and (despite the heartwrenching loss of effort by our team, which Im sure is hard to write about) see this just lackluster work!
          You are very good at what you do 90% of the time, and when you do what you do, we have one of the best blogs in the truehoop network!!