Post-Game Grades: Magic Pull a Fast One on the Pacers



If the Pacers would have been putting on a magic show tonight it would have ended with Frank Vogel pulling a decapitated rabbit out of a hat. The Pacers at one point led by as many as 17 in the second half but a mix of poor play by the bench and the starters allowed the Magic to claw their way back into the game. There were plenty of individual plays to criticize down the stretch like Paul George pulling up for a 3-pointer with a clear lane or taking on the Magic 1-on-3 in the final seconds, but an 18 minute stretch of turnovers and poor shooting saw that lead disappear. The Pacers were 6 of 19 shooting in the fourth quarter and lost for the first time when they led after three quarters.

The Good – Paul George had one of his best games since the win over Sacramento on Jan. 24.  He tied his season high of five 3-pointers made and led the Pacers with 27 points. Good to see PG get out of his recent funk.

The Bad – That 14-3 run to start the fourth quarter.

MVP – Victor Oladipo and Maurice Harkless turned the tide for Orlando in the second half. Paul George gets it for the Pacers for getting out of his recent funk.

LVP – The entire bench for shooting 6 of 22 in the game.

X-Factor – Victor Oladipo scored 15 points in the last 18 minutes to lead the Magic’s comeback.

Defining Moment –  With 8 minutes left Oladipo knocked down a 21′ jumper to take a 78-77 lead the sparked a personal 7-0 run. The Pacers played from behind the rest of the way and made too many mistakes down the stretch.

Disagree? Want to discuss the grades? Get onto me on twitter at @CowboyOnPatrol

Indiana Pacers 92 Final
Recap | Box Score
93 Orlando Magic
David West, PF 33 MIN | 5-12 FG | 4-6 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 14 PTS | +7

A workman like performance from Mr. West.

Paul George, SF 35 MIN | 10-19 FG | 2-2 FT | 7 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 27 PTS | +5

People are going to over analyze that last play and ignore him pulling up for a 3-pointer earlier when the lane looked open. PG did fine on the night as he had 27 points on while shooting above 50 percent from the field and beyond the arc.

Roy Hibbert, C 34 MIN | 3-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 4 BLK | 3 TO | 6 PTS | +3

Four blocks are great but only seven rebounds and allowing Nikola Vucevic to get seven offensive rebounds when they both were on the floor is a problem. I expect more out of a player who is going to the All-Star game.

George Hill, PG 30 MIN | 5-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 7 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 12 PTS | +7

George Hill is playing very well lately and turned in another good outing. Hard to knock him tonight especially when he had a great heads up play in the fourth quarter when he dunked the ball on a breakaway.

Lance Stephenson, SG 39 MIN | 6-11 FG | 2-3 FT | 9 REB | 3 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 5 TO | 16 PTS | +3

A team-high 5 turnovers cancelled out a lot of Lance’s good work.

Luis Scola, PF 15 MIN | 1-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -8

The bench went 6 of 22 and helped let that lead slip away in the second half. A +/- of -8 isn’t helping.

Danny Granger, SF 21 MIN | 2-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 5 PTS | -10

Granny Danger was out tonight and we had no trips to the Granger Zone with a +/- of -10.

Ian Mahinmi, C 14 MIN | 1-1 FG | 2-6 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 4 PTS | -4

At least he made his shots… but then went two of six from the free throw line. Ian at least had the distinction of being the bench guy with the best +/- (-4)

C.J. Watson, PG 18 MIN | 2-7 FG | 1-2 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | -8

You get a D+ too for your efforts.

Frank Vogel

I don’t like blaming coaches for a lack of effort but I can’t say Frank didn’t do much to stop the bleeding before it was too late.

Tags: Game Recap

  • Realist

    Tonight was brutal, but that pic is hilarious.

    But I’m not even that mad. OKC just did the same thing, and Miami lost @ Utah. Meh.

    • Ben Gibson

      I think the think is to look at every moment and every game in context. The Pacers are 34-1 now after leading going into the fourth quarter. I think we can safely assume that most nights will be like the other 34.

      • Ian Cullen

        I think that’s their second loss after leading in the third, right?

        Also, it seems like our defensive scheme is what allows all those offensive boards. When the big fella slides over to help out on the drive it naturally puts him out of position against his opposing center. What I’d like to see looked at though is what David West is doing while this is going on, and if he could help down on Roy’s man.

        • Ben Gibson

          It is a mixed thing for me. Roy has to help but he can’t over help. I’d have to go back and watch each one to be as fair as possible. But you are right, we have seen situations where West put’s Roy it tough situations.

          My negativity with Roy tonight wasn’t as much on that as a lack of double digit rebounds or points. He needs to do a bit more to help out.

        • Realist

          Maybe third. I can think of @MIA and @POR off the top of my head.

        • AMF1322

          If the problem would be the defensive scheme, Orlando woudn’t have only TWO players with offensive rebounds (Vucevic, of course, and Glen Davis). Davis it’s a tough guy, and always fights hard for rebounds, so I wouldn’t look too much to that. The problem is: Roy doesn’t know how to box-out properly. He always stays too close to the rim. He needs to start pushing (no too much) when he’s boxing out, because if the rebound it’s a little bit long, it will be out off his reach.

      • Ben Gibson

        Checked it, they were tied with Portland and led Miami. Unless I over looked something, it should be 34-2. Sorry about that.

    • Andrew Wills

      Missed a chance to gain a game on the best teams in the league… we cannot continue to waste these chances…

  • Philip Tarrant

    We definitely let this one slip away, but it seemed as though the Magic were getting all the borderline calls. We couldn’t seem to buy a moderate contact foul, but got called for numerous and they turned the ball over 4 straight times, but 2 of them they got awarded a TO after losing possession (I assume it was called for at about the same time as the loss of possession).

    • ᗪEᑎI ♛

      right on the point philip,so many stupid calls from these referees today i couldnt believe with my eyes that this was going on.if it was me i would probably lose my cool and punch one of these referees in the face

    • Ian

      The clear path calls were bad. I feel like that is one of the many NBA rules that is officiated in a completely random fashion.

      That said, that’s not why the Pacers lost. They lost because Toronto went on a 30-8 run with our bench in the game. No one is asking the bench to expand leads, but its not unreasonable to ask them to play the other team’s bench close.

      The other issue was you could see when the Pacers got up by 15 they started screwing around and not taking care of the ball. They were taking the Magic lightly, a team that beat OkC in their last game. Stupid.

      • Philip Tarrant

        Oh, I completely agree. That doesn’t mean the bad officiating didn’t infuriate me. You could tell PG was pretty frustrated after the game (I suspect some was the lack of calls, though a lot of it was certainly about letting a lead like that slip away). I also thought that Vogel should have called another TO when we were clearly out of sorts BEFORE we got down by 7 in any part of the range of time before losing the lead.

  • Ian

    The bench was absolutely horrific. I think Vogel stuck with them because he’s trying to build their confidence and give them minutes and he decided the risk was worth it.

    • ᗪEᑎI ♛

      i think granger gets traded before the deadline i would be surprised if he doesnt for a point guard Lowry or someone who can score like Afflalo

      • Ian

        That’s not going to happen. The only value Granger has in trade is to a team trying to get under the tax for next year or free up money for a free agent run. Neither Toronto or Orlando qualifies. Maybe if we threw in a 1st round pick, but we don’t have next year’s, and you can’t trade 2 years in a row, so it’d have to be 2016 which probably isn’t going to excite many teams.

        Lowry and Afflalo are having huge years and are going to command a lot more than an expiring deal.

        The Pacers best hope is Danny continues to play his way back into shape. He still has 30+ games to do so.

      • Andrew Wills

        Trading Granger would essentially be trading Lance as well if you bring back ANYTHING that doesn’t expire at the end of the season… We need the money he is being paid to resign Lance at the seasons end

      • AMF1322

        Great, and they should give us some picks…
        Look, there only TWO teams that would take Granger and give us someone who can actually help (remember, not only the Pacers are right there from the Salary Cap, but they also have 15 players, so they should bring less players that the one we give away to not dump guys in vane like Washington did with Shannon Brown and Kendall Marshall).
        One is the Lakers: they give us Gasol, we give Danny and guys like Butler, Sloan or picks. But Indiana can’t waste picks in a trade neither. If they fail to re-sign Lance, they have to go for Gordon Hayward, but I think Boston will go all-in for him. He’s a Hoosier, but he can also play in Indy after his max-deal (or at least, anything bigger than what Herb Simon will pay) contract with Boston expires. With that in mind, they’ll need a productive 2016 first round to make up for West, or someone else, leaving or stop being productive.
        The other team is Detroit. Now, here it gets interesting. Obviously, the Pacers’ main goal of this trade is Rodney Stuckey. Don’t believe me? The guy is the sixth man in a team that is a mess, specially in floor-spacing, and he still have managed to have a 14 ppg season shooting 45%. That numbers could go up if he comes to a better team with a better system like Indy. So, Stuckey is the main guy. The question is, what would Detroit give and/or take? I think they would take Granger. I think they know that they need a third player next to Drummond and Smith (Jennings it’s a role player, let’s face it). They can go for Lance or Hayward, or just wait trying to holding cap space for another season as they find the coach. Taking an expiring as Granger wouldn’t hurt. Let’s see the two combos that they would give and that Indy would take (add picks if it’s needed):
        1) Granger and min-salary guy (or SoloH) for Stuckey and Monroe. This could solve DET problems about what the hell to do with Monroe. Granger won’t get the same salary he has now. Maybe next season he could be T.Prince 2. 0. But still feels too little for giving up a future starter PF and a solid PG for T. Prince 2.0. Also, what the hell would Indiana do with Monroe? They can’t trade him again, and they just signed Bynum, and still have 2 big men behind Hibbert and West.
        2) Granger and min-salary guys (and/or SoloH) for Stuckey and Villanueva (expiring). Indiana would have to take a slower version of Copeland, but they get sixth man who has been playing well.

        This are the only trades possible that I could figure out. Do they sound good enough? NO. Indiana would lose it’s capitan, a guy who can still be good, but just needs time. Don’t think only that Granger should bring points off the bench, he also brings defense. Defense that could give Paul George or Lance some rest against Miami or even become a good stretch-4 if Miami goes small with LeBron at PF (PG on LeBron, and Granger on Wade or the other wing).

  • Chris Baker

    There were two calls right in a row that I thought should have been clear path fouls against the Magic. I know there are details like established possession and whether or not there are any defenders ahead of the play, but if the spirit of the rule is to punish teams that foul to prevent an obvious break-away score then I felt that both of those were bad calls. It was at a point in the game where the Pacers were on the brink of breaking the game open, and if they had gotten FTs and the ball on one or both of those plays then it might have been enough to bury the Magic.

  • Joe Betz

    Freethrows and rebounding…Take away a handful of Orlando’s extra possessions and make freethrows at the season average and the Pacers win. Hibbert has to be a more active defensive rebounder. That said, yeah, the bench was bad, too. I really, really hope Granger becomes that offensive spark off the bench. He showed us what can happen in Boston when he gets rolling…

  • Ya Boi

    how about frank not calling a timeout at the end of the game? stupid.

  • lil-bang

    I didn’t mind the no timeout call by Vogel here, the Magic were in o shit mode, pacers had that last shot. (Plus still like Vogel needs to improve his last second play calls) Paul George just is letting things get to his head…George hill wide open(who just saved your ass earlier this week) or even David west had a better look. PG(and the Pacers) was best when he was putting up the 20, 7, and 7 numbers not the 27, 5, and 3 numbers.