Post-Game Grades: Pacers Steal the Ball Late, Game 2 in Miami, Home-Court Advantage

Easily the best complete game the Pacers have played this postseason. And from an emotional, psychological standpoint, this was Game 6 against the Knicks all over again.

Throughout the second half, the Heat had moments where they looked like they might pull away. It seemed like they kept making plays at the right time. Had Indiana done what they do sometimes — gone drought city for four or five straight possessions — it could have been curtains.

It can happen that fast against Miami.

But Indiana just kept punching back, staying right there and even taking the aggressor role for stretches. It was an incredible ball game all around, with entertainment value that was off the charts and geeky on-court plays all around.

Both teams should have won.

Unfortunately for Miami, the Indiana defense became incredible down the stretch and forced the world’s best player into two turnovers in the final minute.

That was the difference.

Miami had to rely on one guy late and he didn’t deliver while Indiana had four players in the final period score go-ahead points. Quite the luxury.

And it is a luxury that is making it start to look like the Pacers’ Balanced Five may have what it takes after all to beat the Heat’s Big Three.

Now they head back to Indiana with home-court advantage and try to do what they did to Miami last year — and the Knicks two weeks ago: Go up 2-1 in a series.

Game 2 Miami

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 | 2-9 FG | 9-10 FT | 7 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 13 PTS | +16

Was generally terrible for the first 46 minutes. Then got a seal on Ray Allen, caught the entry and went to work, dropping in a little 12 footer that he usually makes in his sleep. Then he twice stole the ball from the best player on the planet. Even when he’s the worst he’s the best.

Paul George, SF 39 MIN | 9-16 FG | 3-3 FT | 2 REB | 6 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 22 PTS | +17

Best game of his life? Sublime on all levels.

Roy Hibbert, C 39 MIN | 10-15 FG | 9-10 FT | 10 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 29 PTS | +12

Best Eastern Conference Finals game of his life.

George Hill, PG 41 MIN | 6-8 FG | 4-7 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 18 PTS | +12

Redemption is spelled H-I-L-L. In Game 1, he made an ill-advised switch and got roasted by LeBron for a layup. Generally, he was just awful. Tonight, he scored 18 points on 8 shots and had a critical drive late to earn two free throws. Which he made. Also came up with the ball after West’s big deflection on the game-winning forced turnover.

Lance Stephenson, SG 39 MIN | 4-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 5 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 10 PTS | +15

Has his moments, drilling a big three with Miami up four, for example, and pushing the ball to get Paul George a confidence-fueling lob. He also had a wacky, over-dribbling move in transition late, however, and his jumper looks like someone heaving a 90-pound oil barrel into a river sometimes. But still rebounding, still having some effect.

Tyler Hansbrough, PF 7 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -12

Didn’t do much.

Sam Young, SF 10 MIN | 0-2 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 1 PTS | -15

Same.

Ian Mahinmi, C 9 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | -8

Same, but hit a baseline jumper somehow. Was entertaining while helping Paul George celebrate his dunk.

D.J. Augustin, PG 15 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -12

Hit a three, was generally solid.

Orlando Johnson, SG 1 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -5

Got on the court.

Frank Vogel

Might get to go a day without his name in the papers.

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

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  • NLP

    Wow what a win with some big breaks late with two terrible turnovers by James and a big time play by Hill making that diving tip on the floor to keep from letting Wade pick it up and hit a man down court for a easy bucket.

    Its awesome to come back home 1-1 but if we end up losing in 6 or 7 that game one is going to be even more sick, but somehow not knowing what happen there you would be excited to get home court from them but it could have been even more. Kinda scary we needed 25-of-39 64.1% from Roy, Paul and George and 30 FTA from our stating 5 and still need those late TO and missed FT to win this thing tonight. One crazy stat is we played 2 games and a OT in Miami and game out with two less fouls and +13 in FTA.

    Our FT choke from game one got evened out by Miami missing 8 including 2 by Allen to finish under 70% from the stripe where we won the game by 8 points to help make up the difference in the bench battle which lost 19-5 and I’m willing to be we will not win another game this series getting just 5 bench points but that 19 was the Heat’s playoff low.

    Frank basically crapped on his bench setting them up to fail again with 6 total shots and giving zero of those to Tyler after he gave the team a massive lift last game and murder their +/- having them in on defense and getting scored on to end the first 3 quarters. Very lucky to escape with that kind of usage.

    Lance had that big game in NY shooting 9-of-13 to wrap things up but has been ice cold since going 6-of-22 and was 13-of-40 in the 4 games before that. He doesn’t need to be that NY game good but needs to be more consistent or some of those shots could go to the bench to keep them from drowning.

    Something to watch the rest of the way is West playing all this extra time with all the games in this series coming on alternating days. He hit a big shot late and made some nice deflects but since hitting the first shot of the 4th in game one he’s shooting just 3-for-13. He’s the oldest player and he and Hill are the only two to break 40+ MP in each of these games.

    These grades are beyond trivial but I do find it interesting to see how they are made. You are better off shooting a terrible percentage but get secondary starts by default due to playing around 40 MP then doing all you can with no touches.

    Its fun to see how usage effects the grades. Tyler who I don’t think ever had his mad score yet gets the worst grade without getting to shot but DJ shoots it 3 times and makes one while they have the same rebound total but Tyler played half the time and even had a sweet pass to Roy who missed a bunny before putting his own miss back up and in.

    Sam takes two shots misses both and hits one of two FT has the same rebound total as Tyler but with a TO and the game worse plus minus gets better. Ian shoots 100% and added in 2 of the teams 3 blocks and gets lower than DJ with the best plus/minus on the bench one one less rebound in 6:14 less on the floor.

    • llcoolray3000

      I get what you’re saying, but it’s just as bad from the Heat’s pov. They needed a triple-double from Bron Bron, overtime, and a last second shot to win by one against the Pacers on their own court. The Pacers’ starters did have to play out of their minds to win game 2, but the Heat needed Bron Bron to put up the highest point total of this year’s playoffs to barely lose.

      When you get to the final four of the NBA, theoretically, you’ve got really good teams and really good players, and it’s going to take everyone’s best to win.

    • djmcba

      Quit bitching about Tyler’s lack of shots. We play team basketball that isn’t predicated on having a play designed for a specific guy to get the shot on a per possession basis. It’s on Tyler to be more aggressive – he was in game one and it was a huge boost that didn’t have anything to do with a change in play calling or coaching philosophy. We need Tyler to play well to steal more rest for West; he blew a couple boxouts last night that he almost always takes care of. My money is on Ty showing up in a big way in game 3, this series is a great matchup for him and as Sir Charles said, he has the muscle and the hustle to be a problem for the Heat.

      More importantly, you make a good point about getting such a high fg% from those three guys. I agree we probably don’t get that from PG on a nightly basis but DWest offsets that by not going 2/10 or whatever. Roy and West should shoot 60% every game as the heat have absolutely no one that can defend them.

      Also coolray, i’m with you on the taking everyone’s best to win every game at this point in the playoffs.

      Looking forward to being back in Indy for game 3. Bankers Life should be rocking like MSA back in the day. Go Pacers!!

  • dwaink

    toughest game coming up, and it is clear GHill is in some pain, and Young maybe out(mixed bag this-but who will take up mins on Bron?) If the Pacers can hold serve, and that won’t be easy, this series is looking good. Miami is showing signs of wear and looking like they might crack, u could see it on Spo’s face during the second half and by the players he was shuffling in. Tyler and the bench have got to step up, score and give the starters some rest.

    dammit Bron had to go and act human(acknowledging PGeorge) makes it harder to hate the guy :) sure he will do something in game 3 to remind me why(like score 45)
    far and away the best 2 game performance I ever remember this team having…and they haven’t even played their best game yet, Pacers u are on the cusp of something monumental, lock and load, find another level and push this franchise beyond…every one of u needs to set down and think about how many chances u will have in your careers to go to a finals, this could well be it…leave everything on the floor, every play GOOOOOOOOOOO PACERS!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Bill

    Shot 50% and still needed two turnovers from LBJ. Miami hasn’t hit their groove. Need to win both at home to win this series. Heat in 7. Go Pacers!

    • djmcba

      Agree we need to win both at home to win the series (would likely have to win out at home). I think we are showing that we are the better team, but LeBron is just absurd and there isn’t too much we can do about him if he takes his game to another level.

      Love the philosophical aspects of this series: team basketball vs a one man wrecking crew; traditional basketball vs a team predicated on space and pace w/o a center on the roster. I am obviously a pacers fan so I hope we win, but I also hope our style of basketball wins out over the new small ball philosophy.

      • Bill

        Totally agree. I’m just scared LBJ gets a little help one of these games and we’re in trouble. Wade/Bosh havent been that great. LBJ is just a different animal – scares the crap out of me.

        • djmcba

          The Heat haven’t really played all that well throughout the course of the playoffs. With Spo’s coaching strategy for this series he has turned Bosh solely into a jumpshooter, which of course is fine with us. Wade’s outside shot is missing so his only game right now is to take it at Hibbert and hope to draw the foul – he is also a good enough player to finish even when he is mainly looking for the foul call, which he is not getting (thank god they are allowing Hibbert to go straight up). I thought it was super odd Wade passed up the three at the very end of the game to pass to Bosh – maybe shows his relative lack of confidence in his outside game?

          Vogel made some great adjustments last night in how we defended the dump-downs (we are never going to be able to eliminate those as we don’t like to double any player in any situation). Also thought one of the biggest keys was Vogel having Hill throw sharp bounce passes between the Heat’s traps to the screener on PnRs – our guards had been backing out and trying to go over the top of the defenders which gave the Heat enough time to rotate. It’s great the amount of deserved respect and praise he is getting from all the pro’s that played the game despite a lot of media folks and armchair quarterbacks lambasting him for the end of game one (myself included a bit). PG’s post-game interview showed how much the guys love to play for him.

          Probably more than enough of me sharing my opinions on game two though…love me some ‘cers.

  • Bill

    What a game, predictions for the rest of the series? Who does everyone got?

  • Ian

    Lance plays much better at home. In fact, so does George. And the bench. If we can basically play Miami even in their home court, makes you wonder what happens in Indy.

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