Post-Game Grades: Pacers Play Like Garbage in Loss to Suns


The Pacers played like garage… or they are the garbage and the Suns are… wait, I forget what I was doing with this metaphor but it was pretty clear Wednesday night that Gerald Green and the Suns were out for a little revenge and completely outplayed Indiana. If Phoenix wasn’t dropping bombs from beyond the arc against the Pacers, a team that normally defends the three with a league best .321 opponent shooting percentage, they found other ways to score. Paul George played well, but Indiana was completely out of sync defensively and it showed in a season high 62 points allowed in the first half.

It was only one game, but the Indiana performance left little to be positive about until they get back on track, most likely in their next game, and look like the championship contender they are.

The Good – Non-Current Pacers players. Gerald Green looked nothing like he did a year ago in Indiana as he scored 23 points while shooting 3 of 5 from beyond the arc. Miles Plumlee was in double-digits with 11 points, even Leandro Barbosa showed up to add a few points and contribute on defense.

The Bad – Current Pacers. Pretty much all of them with the exception of Paul George. Hibbert fouled out while Lance Stephenson may or may not have been at the game, we can’t confirm despite a few stats.

MVP –  Gerald Green with an brilliant revenge game.

LVP – Stephenson was a non-factor, Hibbert got into foul trouble, neither scored in double-digits.

X-Factor – The Suns 3-point shooting. Phoenix shot 10 of 15 from distance to lead early and eventually put the Pacers away in the second half. Indiana shot only 4 of 13 from there.

Defining Moment – In the fourth quarter Indiana had cut the lead down to 14, but a 13-2 run highlighted by a pair of Markieff Morris 3-pointers erased any chance of the Pacers coming back to win.

Disagree? Let me know on Twitter @CowboyOnPatrol

Indiana Pacers 100 FinalRecap | Box Score 124 Phoenix Suns
David West, PF 27 MIN | 6-11 FG | 1-3 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 13 PTS | -9
Started off well with 8 points against Channing Frye in the first quarter but left the game to have his hand treated. He returned to the game but didn’t look the same as he had early on.
Paul George, SF 34 MIN | 10-19 FG | 5-7 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 26 PTS | -14
The lone bright spot in the game for Indiana. George knocked down a number of baskets when the Pacers needed a little spark, but a 1-6 performance from 3-point land and lackluster defense at times weren’t helping the Pacers
Roy Hibbert, C 28 MIN | 3-8 FG | 0-2 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 3 TO | 6 PTS | -17
You can’t be a 7’2 monster, get into foul trouble, and then only score six points and snag four rebounds. Not a good night for Roy.
George Hill, PG 30 MIN | 4-4 FG | 7-8 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 16 PTS | -13
Not a bad night for Mr. Hill, made all the shots he took from the field, 7-8 shooting from the free throw line, but can’t grade anyone too highly on the night Indiana has its worse defensive outing of the year.
Lance Stephenson, SG 29 MIN | 3-9 FG | 0-1 FT | 5 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 6 PTS | -20
Good thing All-Star voting has closed. And that you can’t unvote.
Luis Scola, PF 15 MIN | 2-5 FG | 1-2 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 5 PTS | -17
The Argentine had minimal stats and made too many mistakes in crunch time.
Chris Copeland, SF 6 MIN | 2-3 FG | 1-1 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | +2
Matched Hibbert’s and Stephenson’s point production in his six minutes of play. Can’t knock him for that even if they were garbage time stats.
Solomon Hill, SF 6 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | +2
Garbage Day!
Danny Granger, SF 21 MIN | 3-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 7 PTS | -18
Danny hit one three, teases us with a trip to the Granger Zone, but it broke down it the desert and was picked apart by buzzards.
Ian Mahinmi, C 19 MIN | 0-1 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -7
Only slightly worse than Hibbert. Not sure if that’s more of a knock on him or Roy.
Donald Sloan, PG 6 MIN | 2-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 5 PTS | +2
Garbage Day!
C.J. Watson, PG 12 MIN | 1-3 FG | 2-2 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | -13
Rasual Butler, SG 6 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | +2
Garbage Day!
Frank Vogel
Don’t think this one’s on Vogel. The Pacers looked like they made the necessary changes coming out of intermission and cut the lead down, but there wasn’t enough left in the tank to comeback.

Topics: Game Recap

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  • Philip Tarrant

    I thought I was going to be able to watch the Pacers play back to back nationally televised games, but by the time I got home from work, this one was all but over. I watched the third quarter and a bit of the fourth, but while we were able to get some stuff going offensively, the defense was lacking energy in all but a few spurts. The Suns were hitting some tough shots and had a whole lot of luck going their way (and a few calls, I might add), but the Pacers’ defensive intensity just wasn’t what it normally is. A lot went wrong for this to be as bad as it was, but this was clearly a day where the Pacers weren’t at their best and the Suns were playing at a much higher intensity. We got outplayed badly, but it’s only one game of 82. I expect a bounceback from this squad, but I have to give them a D- for this game.

    • achoo

      nationally televised games are the worst. longer breaks, followed by time with the clock running missed due to extended side-segments.
      i get home from work around the mid-3rd quarter of each Pacers game. (West Coast!)
      Then i tune into league pass, start the game at tip-off, and fast-forward through time outs, halftime, official reviews, and most opponent free throws. i’ve been doing this so long i got down exactly how far to fast forward for each instance.
      by the time i have caught up the live feed, there are mere minutes (if that) remaining in the game. usually the Pacers have the game in hand, and i can enjoy a fun interview with Brooke – Lance’s “scripted” answers about bringing energy to make his teammates better, PG’s deflections to give credit to the team and coaching, Hill’s shoutouts to Christ, and the occasional photobombs after blowouts.

      but yeah i could not do this with nationally televised games. fortunately last night’s started at 7:30 so i was home in time, but i can tell you that you did not miss much unless you enjoy shot making (i prefer defense)

      • Philip Tarrant

        That’s a pretty accurate description, haha. Don’t have the league pass myself, so I have to miss quite a few games and merely watch both and ESPN’s (bare bones) highlights. That along with reading up about the game here at least keeps me abreast of a lot of Pacers’ goings-ons. And last game certainly had a lot of shot-making, and it would definitely have been nice to see us not get blown by to the hoop time and again. We were on our heels and reacting all game.

  • Realist

    Vogel rode the starters pretty much the whole third quarter and even brought Lance, Hill and West back in in the fourth, down 22. Just give up already and rest the starters. We’re still comfortably top of the whole league. Vogel is turning into Thibs.

    20 turnovers? Larry needs to have another chat with them.

    Still should be aiming for at least 3-2 on this trip. 2-3 or worse is a fail.

    • Jack Wright


      • Realist

        SEGABABA @DEN is never easy. Tough place to play up there. If we beat Sactown and Lakers and scratch one in Denver, I’ll live.

    • lil-bang

      I agree on resting the starters on this one…only because it is on the 5 game road trip on the West coast, also since West went out with an injury.
      Vogel’s isn’t as crazy as thibs…yet. Since the Pacers haven’t had many close games (win or loss) I would have liked to seen them try to bust one out and have a mentality of “no game is out of reach”- only problem was the Suns never stopped hitting shots.

  • Ian

    The Pacers were bad, but lets also give the Suns some credit. They shot lights out. EVERYTHING was going on. Crazy floaters, bank shots, and tons of 3s and long jumpers off the dribble or fade away. It wasn’t like they were just sitting open for spot up opportunities. Remember they missed like 10 free throws. Even if the players had showed up, the Suns might have won this game because they were that on fire.

    I do think this was a revenge game, especially for Green who probably felt that he was misused and never given the opportunity to play through his struggles in Indiana (I’m not sure how much revenge he could really want after signing that contract though). Ultimately sometimes you run into a really hot shooting team (reminds me of some of the games the Pacers played against Atlanta over the years), and if you are not bringing your A+ game, you lose as well.

    The one thing that can’t be totally blamed on that is the turnovers. The Suns were playing really tight defense all the way out to midcourt, and the Pacers ball handlers did not handle it well. We need more answers for this because its what Miami does to the Pacers as well. That said Hill deserves a B-. He single handedly kept the Pacers in it for awhile by drawing all those fouls.

  • 15points126seconds

    I dont think ive ever seen a worse game from Scola, F.
    When was the last time this team put forth no effort? I cant remember

    • James Lissaman

      imo it was similar to the first loss of the season v the Bulls (where Rose hit all those 3s). Opponent played really well, and Indy struggled on offense (plus by virtue of other team’s shooting, on D too)

  • achoo

    sometimes i wonder if we all watch the games here. i mean this one was on espn so even the non-locals without league pass don’t have any excuse here.

    i say this because i thought the Pacers played well. i think they played a lot worse in some of their recent wins.

    i mean the Suns hit the Pacers with a maelstrom,
    everyone is gunning for the league’s #1 team. every offense wants a crack at that legendary record shattering defense. Suns won’t get up for a game in New York or Detroit, because why should they? but a home game against the league’s best? you know they’ve had it circled for weeks, especially with Green and Plumlee producing.
    and, like Ian said, they hit EVERYTHING.
    Green was taking shots that if he was in a Pacers uniform we would all be groaning in disgust and wondering when Vogel will quit giving that bum chances he doesn’t deserve. Plumlee had at least 2 offensive basket interferences.

    I disagree about the Suns pressuring our ball handlers into turnovers.
    of the 20 turnovers:
    6 came from our bigs (Roy/West/Scola) getting double teamed and throwing the ball away
    3 were offensive fouls
    2 were incidentals (Danny 3-in-the-key, Solo Hill offensive goaltend)
    1 was Danny getting the ball swiped from behind after a rebound
    1 was a strange deflection off GHill’s leg

    I mean yeah, our bigs need to be smarter passing out of doubles, but don’t give the Suns D too much credit, 13 of the turnovers were kind of just random / 50:50 calls / lack of patience.

    then of the remaining 7 turnovers, only 3 happened prior to folding in the 4th. Lance, PG, and GHill each had 1 boner. over 3 quarters. that is completely acceptable, especailly considering how turnover prone our team is.

    i’m just saying, this wasn’t the Suns D.
    this wasn’t former shunned Pacers getting revenge.
    this wasn’t the Pacers not coming to play or being sloppy.

    this was Suns shooting lights out. 11-16 from downtown. i mean come on.
    since 1985
    there have only been SIXTY FOUR (64 out of ~35,000 games, 68%

    of those 64 instances, that team won 56 times
    87.5% of the time.

    The chances of a team accomplishing what the Suns did AND LOSING is 0.16% (or about 1 in 62,500)
    (this ranks somewhere between the likelihood of being killed by a tornado and a fatal lightning bolt hitting you.. 3 times less likely than dying in a plane crash, 60 times less likely than dying in a car crash, over 10,000 times less likely than dying of heart disease.)

    you all are smart here. Suns did something that never happens. and on the off chance it should happen, that team nearly always wins.
    sometimes you gotta just chalk it up to “any given wednesday”

    Suns had their perfect day, and it came against us.
    they’ve never done it before,they’ll never do it again.

    Panic meter (1-10) —-> 1.0

    • poot

      Spot on, 100% correct. I almost posted the same thing myself.

      This game was a flash in the pan. It’s like when Kobe scored 81 on the Raptors. Raptors didnt lose that game because they stunk (any worse than the Smush/Kwame Lakers that year) or because LA played great D or something. They lose because Kobe scored 81 fucking points.

      Just gotta keep things in perspective. Pacers are aight.
      Panic Meter 0.0

    • Realist

      I don’t think anybody is panicking. All good.

    • Ben Gibson

      Trust me, zero panic here. But I saw little to like last night.
      The Suns were playing out of their minds, but I don’t think that’s an excuse for the Pacers, in particular Hibbert and Stephenson, for having such poor night’s offensively.

      • Realist

        Hmm maybe. Starters shot 26/51 from the field. That’s winning most of the time.

  • lil-bang

    Like to see the coach’s grade back, a C seems to be the right choice here. Vogel never appeared to show his team was going to give up, until he pulled everyone in the final 6 minutes of a game. Let’s just hope he makes sure his team bounces back.

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