Post-Game Grades: Bench Carries the Weight in Win over Orlando


Did the bench just win a game for the Pacers?

Tim Donahue pointed out the unit of CJ/Lance/DG/Luis/Ian lineup had been -21 in 40 mins in its last six appearances, but tonight that grouping had a total of 49 points. The Five (with the exception of Lance) could do barely more than break even on the night. Paul George had his moments, but it was really about the second unit, led by Lance, taking care of business.

You might have thought since the Andrew Bynum news effects them more directly than the starters that it could have shown up negatively on the floor.

If anything they came together tonight.

The Good
 – The bench as mentioned above had 49 points.

The Bad – Starters with the exception of Lance and PG. They just struggled tonight to do more than bring even.

MVP – Danny Granger was 3 of 5 from beyond the arc and led the Pacers with 16 points. He was in the Granger Zone last night.

LVP – George Hill was 1 of 8 shooting on the night, missing all six of his 3-pointers.

X-Factor – Lance Stephenson out rebounded everybody on the team with 12, only slightly behind Roy Hibbert and Ian Mahinmi’s combined total of 13. Lance also had 5 assists while getting 15 points.

Defining Moment – Hard to pick one as the bench slowly and steadily carried the team. I can’t over state that.

Orlando Magic 79

Recap | Box Score

98 Indiana Pacers
David West, PF 26 MIN | 4-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 8 PTS | +6

A modest night offensively but took care of business on the defensive end with 7 rebounds and made sure Glen Davis was a non-factor.

Paul George, SF 27 MIN | 5-12 FG | 3-3 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 15 PTS | +3

It was good to see PG getting back closer to his season average. It was George’s first game in the last five that he shot above 40%. Also had a fun ally-oop dunk. Getting PG out of his own slump is part of getting the whole squad away from its lackluster play as of late.

Roy Hibbert, C 26 MIN | 4-6 FG | 1-2 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 9 PTS | +

1Not a bad night for the big man but considering his counterpart Nikola Vucevic shot 8-of-16, it wasn’t a night where Roy looked like one of the league’s best centers.

George Hill, PG 19 MIN | 1-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -1

Too many missed shots tonight to say anything nice.

Lance Stephenson, SG 37 MIN | 5-11 FG | 4-5 FT | 12 REB | 5 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 15 PTS | +17

Lance had a strong double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds. When Lance is out-rebounding Roy, I don’t see that as a bad thing. He helped with a very productive bench tonight. He was the only starter with a +/- in double digits.

Luis Scola, PF 22 MIN | 4-13 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 10 PTS | +13

Took a charge, good defense, I have no complaints about tonight. I particularly liked a moment with 6:13 left in the second quarter when Scola took a long offensive rebound and wasted no time attacking the basket for an lay up. No hesitation, just results.

Danny Granger, SF 25 MIN | 5-9 FG | 3-3 FT | 4 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 16 PTS | +26

Spent more time in the Granger Zone than as Granny Danger. Knocked down a series of 3-pointers, three in the middle quarters, to help get the Pacers through a lull. He really enjoyed the left side corner (3-of-3), where he’d been shooting 30% this season.

Ian Mahinmi, C 18 MIN | 3-7 FG | 1-2 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 7 PTS | +23

Mahinmi looks like he’s handling the Bynum trade very professionally. A normal night for Ian as far as the stats go, but considering the Pacers were +23 tonight when he was on the floor, he was definitely doing his job.

C.J. Watson, PG 26 MIN | 5-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 12 PTS | +23

C.J. did exactly what you’d want from the back-up point guard: Efficient (5-for-10 shooting), distributed the ball well while knocking down a pair of 3-pointers.

Frank Vogel

Knew to ride the bench tonight as they showed they were capable of handling it.

Tags: Game Recap

  • Realist

    I’m sick of the starters blowing all these leads that the bench give us. When is Larry Bird going to do something about this lousy starting five?

    Worked out well though, for the first leg before the ominous segababa @ATL (which we seem to suck at): Starters get rest, bench plays well, low turnovers. PG to have a huge game in Atlanta, I think.

    Granger was an A+ btw, imo.

    • Jackson


    • poot

      Larry says we SOFT, we become the toughest team in the league
      Larry says we have no bench, we get the best bench in the league
      Larry says we turn it over too much,
      well, work in progress. Kept it at 4 total vs the Lakers, incredible. and 9 against the Magic is not bad either. i expect this will continue to improve, as everything Larry says has incredible weight

    • Jack Wright

      pg will go OFF tonight in atlanta

  • Philip Tarrant

    Great to see the starters get some rest in a blowout with the bench performing effectively. We didn’t need them to be superhuman to win handily against a weaker squad. After the first, the defense clamped down and despite a few rough patches offensively, managed to cruise to a victory using a great deal of bench minutes. Getting wins like these is important in a long 82 game season. Gotta give Vogel an A for tonight.

    • Derek U

      Agreed.. Hopefully there are a ton more of these before the playoffs, or that Vogel understands to rest the squad a little bit by monitoring minutes

  • Derek U

    I want to see more games like this before the playoffs come. Let the bench find it’s groove while giving most of the starters some adequate rest. No reason for PG, Hibbert and West to play over 30 minutes a game that last month.

    • Jack Wright

      I like letting the bench do its thing too but im not worried about the starters’ minutes

      • Derek U

        I just don’t want to see all the starters playing 38-40 minutes again because they don’t have faith in our bench. Keep them fresh and let the bench ride strong.

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