Post-Game Grades: Pacers Soil Selves, Change Shorts, Dominate Detroit in OT Win


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The Good – The final 29 minutes. Following the break, Indiana completely shut down Detroit, holding them to 26.1% shooting (12-for-46) after half time. Detroit was able to get to the line some, but in this stretch the Pacers still outscored the Pistons — in Detroit, a place they flew to from Philadelphia late last night — 71 to 44. Two huge factors: going 16-for-16 from the charity stripe and grabbing 13 offensive boards (on 35 missed field goals). Domination.

The Bad – Everything that came before that. You don’t need to be a mathematician to realize that if the Pacers were so good after the half, they were inversely atrocious prior. Indiana shot just 36.4% in the first half and trailed by 19 when the second quarter buzzer sounded. It was the making of an embarrassment sandwich that would have completely erased all the positives gained in the two wins over Boston and Philadelphia.

MVP – Paul George. He played every second of the game after half time and looked a helluva lot like the guy we saw early in the year. He couldn’t find his stroke from deep (hitting just 1-of-6 threes past halftime), but he made 5-of-6 two-pointers, and made all 9 of this free throw attempts. It was more than that though. He just played very measured basketball, passing up catch-and-shoots that he usually has decided to launch before even getting the ball in favor of subtle ball fakes that allowed him to probe the defense and make a play, often for someone else. He even looked more in control while securing rebounds and ball-handling. Just looked like the best player on the court because he undoubtedly was more so than by default like he has in recent months.

LVP – George Hill made just 1-of-7 shots and tied Luis Scola for a team-low 2 points. Without C.J. Watson and Donald Sloan available for the past six quarters he has been asked to do a bit more than is fair, but that is no excuse for this performance.

X Factor – Andrew Bynum. Basically the monster of the midway at this point. Yeti. Mothra with a taste for Krispy Kremes. However you wanna classify him, the recently lethargic gargantuan human now looks like he was torn from Rampage, scoring 15 points and grabbing 9 boards in under 20 minutes tonight. He made just 6-of-18 shots, so there’s something to work on, but 3 of his boards were offensive so he was staying active and getting extra looks for himself even after misses.

Agree? Disagree? Yell at Jared Wade on Twitter @8pts9secs

Indiana Pacers 112 FinalRecap | Box Score 104 Detroit Pistons
David West, PF 36 MIN | 6-13 FG | 3-4 FT | 8 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 15 PTS | +16Hit arguably the two biggest shots of the game (back to back jumpers late in overtime) to seal it.
Paul George, SF 46 MIN | 9-19 FG | 10-10 FT | 8 REB | 7 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 30 PTS | +17After the break, he was the guy all Pacers fans hope he can be. Not quite his November Neo phase (Mr. Anderson would have ended this in regulation), but this was some high-level basketballer-ing
Roy Hibbert, C 33 MIN | 4-10 FG | 4-4 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 12 PTS | +13Huge free throws late after Lance Stephenson got him the ball rolling to the hoop and he faked Josh Smith into the rafters. Then the next play, he swatted Greg Monroe and made sure to have the ball bounce off Monroe’s hands out of bounds. They don’t get to OT without these clutch plays.
George Hill, PG 34 MIN | 1-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 3 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | +2Yikes.
Lance Stephenson, SG 36 MIN | 5-15 FG | 0-0 FT | 9 REB | 6 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 13 PTS | +1Played pretty well. Hit a giant 3 late.
Luis Scola, PF 17 MIN | 1-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -8Wasn’t good but make the only shot he hit tonight at an opportune time to tie the game as Indiana clawed back into the game.
Evan Turner, SF 30 MIN | 8-15 FG | 3-3 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 20 PTS | +2If he can play like this all the time he’s worth three Danny Grangers. Gaining some nice chemistry with Bynum.
Andrew Bynum, C 20 MIN | 6-18 FG | 3-4 FT | 9 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 15 PTS | -5He has had more impact in two games than I expected him to all season.
Rasual Butler, SG 14 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 3 PTS | 0Took a hard fall and hit a trey. Not a bad day’s work.

Tags: Indiana Pacers

  • Realist

    PG = B? (typo?)

    Enormous win. If this doesn’t jolt some life back into the team, then nothing will. Not to mention that Miami also just dropped two straight at home to Brooklyn and Denver.

    Looking at the schedules (Miami/Indiana), I still think we might be slight underdogs to get the 1 seed, but the dream certainly isn’t dead just yet. If we’re winning road segababa’s…. cue “anything is possible” quote.

    • Realist

      Only two segababas left too.

      @MEM after home vs CHI; and
      Home vs SAS after @CLE;

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

      Can’t give any starters an A after that first half.

      • Realist

        Fair enough

    • Ian

      I’m going to guess given their recent slump and the fact they have to play 3 more games than the Pacers, that unless they immediately go on an impressive winning streak Miaimi will start resting their old guys and concede the #1 seed outright.

      As for this game, I think Hill deserves a better grade. He shot poorly, he wasn’t great, but he made Brandon Jennings struggle (3-13 shooting) and only committed one turnover. He also got the key rebound and dribble out over the trees in what was essentially the game clinching possession.

      Bynum looks so active it makes you wonder what impact he could have if he finds his touch from the post again, though it would have been a truer test if he had had to go against Drummond the whole game.

      • Realist

        Hope you’re right.

        And yeah, turnovers were under control tonight. I think it was 7 (of the 10) at halftime, 3 in the second half, and none in OT.

      • Jack Wright

        yeah I think were gona have the 1 seed solidly too. hopefully #1 overall though cuz that will be more important I think. But we gotta back up that #1 seed by kicking ass in the playoffs. Hoping not to see the Spurs in the finals (even though I’d honestly put their chances at like 4th in the west). Thunder would be a tough series maybe. We wouldn’t ever lose to the clippers or rockets though, so bring it on Blake, please.

    • AMF1322

      I don’t agree about the schedule. Indiana may have more hard teams to beat, but only 2 back-to-backs. Miami? 5. So it’s very likely that maybe Wade, Oden, Ray Allen miss some games. Indiana have more days off between games, and that means more games where Bynum will play.

      And Miami still have to beat the Rockets today; they have to go again to Detroit; they got one last game against the Nets (they’re 0-3 against them); Portland at home, so with Toronto; their before last game it’s at Washington, who might be fighting for being in the sixth seed (and have Nené and Gortat to pound them inside); and most important, they got to play twice against Memphis.

      • Realist

        Could we get some more soft free throws for Miami down the stretch against Houston please? God.

        Houston didn’t help though. Ice cold.

  • flinchböt

    This was worth reading just for the Rampage reference.

    • Philip Tarrant

      Just what I was gonna say! I had completely forgotten about that amazing game.

  • Earl Malmsteen

    The difference in effort from the first half to the second was night and day. One thing that needs to change is the defensive effort needs to be there a lot more consistently, as it was the first 40 or so games. Too often lately when the shots aren’t falling, it translates into a lack of defensive effort, especially from Lance and PG. I have to think this will go away in the playoffs, but if it doesn’t they could find themselves in trouble before even facing MIA.

  • Jack Wright

    This turned out to be one of the most important wins of the season. That 2nd half clarified for us why it’s been a waste of energy worrying about the recent slump… When we really want and need to be, we’ll flat outplay people.

  • poot

    per 36
    Player A: 12.5 pts / 8.9 reb / 0.3 ast / 1.8 blk / 9.1 pf
    Player B: 15.1 pts / 9.5 reb / 2.0 ast / 2.1 blk / 2.1 pf
    Player C: 23.0 pts / 19.0 reb / 2.0 ast / 1.0 blk / 3.0 pf

    Player D: 21.9 pts / 12.2 reb / 3.0 ast / 2.6 blk / 2.3 pf

    who are the mystery studs?

    Player D is Tim Duncan during his 2004 MVP season

    Player C is of course the lovable Andrew Bynum in his two games as a Pacer

    Player B has been vilified all season long by ESPN, their analysts repeatedly assessed he was not a capable basketball player and his team waived him mid-season.
    this player, of course, is Andrew Bynum as a Cav.

    Player A has been glorified all season long by ESPN, they show every single play he makes on the highlights, and he is supposed to be the “roy hibbert exiler”.
    this player is Greg Oden on the heat.

    what?
    Greg Oden sucks?

    FUCK YOU ESPN

    .

    .

    .

    poot out.

    • Ian

      While I am happy with how Bynum has been playing (mostly his energy and effort, more than anything else), lets not cherry pick numbers here. Bynum is shooting less than %42 on the season, and no better with the Pacers than with Cleveland. The thing that’s been redeemable about that with the Pacers is that he’s been able to get looks pretty much at will, and the hope is that his touch will come back over time.

      Oden is shooting nearly %60 (admittedly all dunks) and Duncan shot %50 that season. You also have to give ESPN some leeway since Oden is such a good story. Obviously there is an element of their constant worship of the Heat as well.

      I think the huge boost Bynum gives the Pacers is that Hibbert is clearly worn out. Mahinmi is a nice defensive replacement but he gives you nothing on offense and the 2nd unit has struggled for points much this season with Scola no longer much of a post threat. With Bynum the Pacers can start limiting Roy to 25 minutes a night, saving him for the playoffs, without losing anything on offense.

    • Realist

      KG was MVP in 04, Duncan 02 and 03.

      But yes, I am starting to believe Larry Bird when he said this was more than just a keepaway signing.