Post-Game Grades: Pacers Beat the Heat in Game of the Year


postgamegrades_inpost

The Good – Just the fight. The effort. The ability to shake off the Manchurian Candidate existence the Pacers have been sleepwalking through for weeks now to remember that this is the NBA and if you want to win a title you have to aggressively, violently, passionately, and precisely go out and stomp on people’s throats.

The Bad – Lance being an idiot. You can’t get thrown out of a game like this. Stephenson is obviously the most volatile of the bunch, but the Pacers still need to master the ability to blend playing carefree and passionately with the discipline and precision of a professional. You need all those things but its a long learning process for a team to put them all together into one effort.

MVP – Paul George. The dunk over LeBron is now up there with the 360 windmill and the Birdman Extinction Level Event for plays of his career, and his defense was just so great. When he’s putting all his focus on the defensive end like that and just playing instinctual, thoughtless (not careless, mind you) offense, he is one of the very best in the NBA. The line was sweet, but that D … man. Special stuff.

LVP – Luis Scola basically takes off for the rebound before he has even released his shot. He might have to find his way out of the rotation if this continues.

X Factor – Evan Turner. Just some huge plays down the stretch. That spin move to create a layup was gorgeous.

Agree? Disagree? Shout at me at @8pts9secs on Twitter.

Miami Heat 83 Final
Recap | Box Score
84 Indiana Pacers
David West, PF 37 MIN | 3-11 FG | 6-6 FT | 9 REB | 5 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 13 PTS | -4

You could go 3-for-111 and still get an A by drilling a dagger 3-pointer. Plus, dude was battling on the boards and making wonderful, lovely passes all night.

Paul George, SF 42 MIN | 8-19 FG | 4-4 FT | 8 REB | 4 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 23 PTS | +2

THERE HE IS. I MISSED YOU. DON’T LEAVE AGAIN.

Roy Hibbert, C 34 MIN | 7-15 FG | 7-9 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 21 PTS | +1

Speaking of … Beast’n the whole Miami team with 11 in the first quarter while looking like a Dream/Moses Malone/Abdul-Jabbar hybrid on the block. Plus defended the rim like Cersei protecting her offspring. Beast game in the calendar year 2014 and it’s not close. Extra credit for getting severely chin checked then returning to keep balling.

George Hill, PG 41 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-2 FT | 4 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 2 PTS | 0

Probably could have used those free throws to be honest. Line is ugly, but he made some big plays.

Lance Stephenson, SG 33 MIN | 6-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 15 PTS | +6

First off, that was really, really dumb. Don’t do that. Seriously, you’re about to be suspended for techs. Energy is great, just learn the rules and don’t yell at guys faces. Nice game otherwise. Letting those threes fly like Born Rifle.

Luis Scola, PF 11 MIN | 0-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | +5

Maybe we can shave his head and get a reverse-Samson thing going?

Evan Turner, SF 21 MIN | 4-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 8 PTS | -6

Will let Vogel handle this one: “Evan makes two huge plays after Lance was ejected. Probably don’t win the game without him.”

Ian Mahinmi, C 14 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | 0

He missed some assignments — and hilariously a dunk attempt — but really liked what he brought while Roy was in the locker room trying to remember his name.

Donald Sloan, PG 7 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | +1

Not so bad.

Frank Vogel

Good job doing whatever it was you did to turn the Bizarro Pacers back into the Pacers.

Tags: Indiana Pacers Miami Heat

  • Chris Baker

    Hopefully that ejection will serve as a bit of a wakeup call for Lance. He always plays on the edge, and fortunately he didn’t cost his team tonight, but he can’t be making boneheaded plays like that in the 4th quarter of a playoff game. He’s always doing those little walk-up-and-give-a-stare-then-walk-away moves and he always gets away with it, but not tonight.

    Even though Hibbert was quiet in the 2nd half, he made two huge plays that helped win the game: 1) Diving on the floor and calling timeout to save the possession that eventually led to the West 3, and 2) challenging Bosh’s last second shot. Good stuff from the Big Fella.

    Also, am I the only one that totally doesn’t trust Hill at the FT line in crunch time?

    • Philip Tarrant

      You have to take the good with the bad with a player like Lance. Even with minimal improvement, he’s still a very valuable player that you wanna have on your team. I can forgive an instance like this, but agree that it should serve as a lesson come playoff time.

      Hibb finally exerting himself! LOVE IT. We don’t need this every game, but we certainly needed it this game, and it’s something he should do more often. He’s too good to disappear in games where the rest of the offense isn’t kicking.

      Completely agree about Hill. Idk what it is, but I would much rather have DWest in the clutch at the line despite his lower overall average (83 vs 77%). West is nails at the line in crunch time and Hill (while a great clutch shooter) just seems to lack what it takes to consistently hit the big ones.

    • Realist

      I remember last year ECF Game 2, Hill was 0/3 at the line, then hit 4/4 in the final minute to seal it. He can be shaky though.

      But yeah, not the ideal finish. If we had lost that game after being up 4 with 5 seconds left…. I don’t even

      • ATribeCalledPoop

        Went to the game and as I was driving home listening to Boyle do the post game, he stopped in mid sentence to comment on Hill coming back on to the court to shoot free throws. Just thought that was pretty awesome

    • http://www.blackstonefilms.org/ John-Andrew

      I was a bit surprised that PG wasn’t at the line for those last two. He’s 94% over the last couple of months, and he is clutch at the end of big games.

    • 15points126seconds

      I trust hill. He’s our best FT shooter and is not normally one to choke in pressure situations. I was shocked he missed them last night. He was too.
      I doubt this will happen again

      • Jack Wright

        this wasn’t the 1st time

      • Philip Tarrant

        Pretty sure PG is our best FT shooter.

  • Chris Baker

    And I don’t want to hear that West travelled on that 3 (even though he did). Lebron travels like that 100 times every game.

    • Realist

      Travelling and how it’s called in the NBA remains somewhat of a mystery.

      • Philip Tarrant

        Basically you get 2 and a half steps. There’s some extra lee-way if you’re a superstar tho. I think West deserves superstar status with what he brings to the table for this team.

      • Jaret Binford

        I remember seeing a bit by an NBA ref on NBA TV saying its just flat-out the hardest call for them to make because they are so much more focused above the waist. It doesn’t help that these guys are freaks and can cover huge ground in a few bounds.

  • Realist

    Haven’t watched the replay yet (been at work all day (Aussie time)) but very much looking forward to it.

    The stat that really stands out in the box score is the turnovers Indiana 10, Miami 18. If we have four straight games where we win the turnover battle, we’ll probably sweep them.

    • Ian

      In can’t believe we aren’t hearing more about this. This is always the most important stat between these two teams.

    • 15points126seconds

      You’re in Australia? Cool! Didnt know there were pacers fans down under. But why ruin the game for yourself by seeing the scores?

      • Realist

        Ha. It’s too hard to ignore it all day, 82 times a year. I do get to watch some games live when they’re playing on the west coast – lines up with my lunch break nicely. Plus, I get to enjoy watching replays when I know they’ve won, and can pass if we poop the bed.

        My flights are booked to USA/Indianapolis in late May. ONE TIME

  • Richard Kim

    I am a Lebron fan but his comment about the elbow which was basically “Hibbert’s face shouldn’t have been in the way” was kind of lame. He turned it into a joke about kung fu or whatever but an excuse like “I could only have elbowed him in the face intentionally and shot the ball if I were unusually athletic, strong and highly coordinated” works if you are me, but basically just affirms for Lebron that he had the motive and the means. Anyway huge win because Miami has the much easier string to play out and almost surely could have passed Indy, now as long as the Pacers can play .500 ball Miami almost has to win out.

    • Chris Baker

      I remember the 2012 EC Semifinals well. In Game 2, DWade blasted Darren Collison in the back on a breakaway play (where Granger’s pass, intended for Collison for a laypu, hit Wade in the side of the face). It was completely out of line and unnecessary, yet I think at the most he got a Flagrant 1, and it might have been just a common foul. He certainly wasn’t ejected like he should’ve been.

      Then in Game 5, Haslem (I think) close-lined Lance on a drive to the basket, and again he wasn’t ejected.

      The Heat certainly isn’t a group of angels, and they’ve gotten away with their fare share of rough play. Quit crying.

      • Richard Kim

        I’m “crying” because I criticized Lebron’s unapologetic attitude at elbowing Roy? I am a fan of Lebron’s abilities because I think he is a good basketball player, I didn’t say I root for the Heat – I don’t. What’s with the misplaced hostility?

        • Chris Baker

          “Quit crying” wasn’t directed at you my friend. It was directed at LBJ and Bosh.

          Sorry for the confusion.

          • Jack Wright

            hahahaa

          • Philip Tarrant

            Yeah, I thought so haha

        • Derek U

          Not to be a dick, but you’re the worst kind of sports fan. “I love Lebron cause he’s athletic, but I don’t root for the Heat”. Get a fucking grip guy and pick a TEAM. I don’t care who it is, but this suckfest of athletic NBA players gets old after 30 years.

          • Joe Betz

            That is being a dick, bud. To not be able to appreciate the best basketball player on the planet in his prime simply because he’s on a different team is maybe the dumbest thing I’ve read today. I don’t even know what you mean in your last phrase. Seriously, you only watch the Pacers play and don’t appreciate what any other team or players on those teams do? I’ve been a lifelong Pacers fan, but I’m not going to say I don’t appreciate Michael Jordan because he ruined my childhood beating the Pacers every playoff series…that’s essentially the view you are throwing out there…to each his own, I guess.

          • Derek U

            Short answer, yes. This is a team sport, not an individual sport. Why the fuck would you want to be a fan of someone who gets away with murder game after game, anoints themselves a King, pulls off media spectacles such as “the decision”, flops. His narcissism makes me sick to my stomach and I want nothing more than the Pacers to crush him game after game. As for Michael, Yes. I loath MJ. Nasty personality, got away with murder on the court. Shit, he punched Reggie in the face and Reggie was the one who got ejected. When a league favors one person so heavily, why the fuck would someone from Indiana support that? I trash anyone I see wearing LBJ jersey’s locally, same with Kobe jersey’s. If you’re from Indy, grew up watching the Pacers why would you support that? I wouldn’t even want to breathe the words “I’m a fan”. Can I appreciate the skill sets of such players? Yeah, all day, But I’d rather root for someone that is humbled by the fact that he’s in the position he’s in.

          • Derek U

            Even more annoying is “I don’t like the heat, I’d just drop to my knees for Lebron”. Figure out who the hell you’re rooting for man, if you’re a Pacer fan the last thing you should be rooting for is Lebron and that’s since day 1 in Cleveland. Can you appreciate his skill set? Yeah. But to be a fan says a lot about your personality, which instantly makes you a douchebag.

          • Derek U

            Then again, you’re talking to the guy that hates people wearing Bronco Peyton Jersey’s…. Just shows who was a real fan and who became a fan likely sometime after 2000. Team first, always.

          • Philip Tarrant

            I still wear my Colts’ Peyton jersey because I respect the hell out of that man and he will always have a special place in my fandom. I root for him to do well with the Broncos when he’s not playing the Colts, and I can’t imagine how anyone would have a problem with that. He didn’t choose to leave, and there’s no reason any Colts fan should root against him (besides when we play the Broncs).

          • Derek U

            Shit, I’m wearing my Granger jersey at work today. If I had a Colts Peyton jersey I’d be wearing it whenever possible. I have nothing but respect for Peyton and I wish him nothing but success with the Bronco’s so long as it’s not against the Colts! Best wedding present I got this year was The Colts beating the shit out of Peyton. I just can’t stand the idea that half of Indianapolis’s new favorite team is the Bronco’s. He’s great, yes but I hate the bandwagon label Naptown gets and I constantly have to fight it then I see this shit…. You think Chicago went to the stores buying Jordan Wizard jersey’s? doubt it.

          • Philip Tarrant

            Oh ok, then I think we’re in agreement on this, too, haha. I root for the Spurs for Duncan (my bro went to WF when dunc was there, and the dude is a class act), but I’m a Pacers fan and if we played them in the Finals, no contest. Same with the Colts/Broncos and for the same principles. Still need to get myself a Luck jersey, but it’s on my wishlist, so I have no current Colts jerseys and often wear the 18 on a Sunday.

          • Derek U

            Hard to do when Nike raises it’s prices by 20% ^_^

          • Jack Wright

            oh yeah

          • Philip Tarrant

            Having played basketball, I can appreciate the level of talent with which LeBron is able to play the game. I have all kinds of respect for the skill he has, but all of that is negated by the fact that the dude is a cry-baby bitch. There is no reason for a player with his skill and talent to go in trying to get a call from the ref rather than just exerting himself and being a man out on the court. So while I don’t like or respect LeBron, it isn’t just because he plays for a different team. I have all kinds of respect for Tim Duncan, Chris Paul, LaMarcus Aldridge, et al. But man, fuck LeBron.

          • Derek U

            Definitely man! Like I said. I like players that are humbled by the fact that they’re playing basketball for a living. Durant, Duncan, LA, tons of them. I have a great respect for talent, but players like Lebron, & JR Smith(And other players like Smith who take the game for granted) just make me seethe.

          • Philip Tarrant

            Ah ok, I just think that what Richard Kim is saying is that he respects LeBron (and is somehow able to overlook his bitchy qualities), so I wasn’t sure why you jumped him when you also have players from other teams you respect. I can certainly understand the anger at LeBron, but just seemed a bit misplaced here.

      • Realist

        Yeah, (the Collison hit) it’s definitely one of Wade’s greatest hits. It was all because he got a no-call on Dahntay Jones at the other end, and just basically threw a tantrum – a tantrum that could’ve really hurt DC.

        Wade is a flat out punk.

      • llcoolray3000

        They play dirty, not rough.

    • Ian

      I respect Lebron and certainly like him a lot more than Wade. I had assumed initially when the elbow happened that it was inadvertent. But when u watch the replay u can see him move his arm in the last fraction of a second to elbow Hibbert in the face. In fact it seems almost something that would make the shot more difficult rather than a natural motion. I think LeBron was sending an old school style message (you better not try that verticality shit on me) but failed. Because he is LeBron and because he did it at a time where it’s impossible to prove intent he won’t get fouled or upgraded to a 2 but I do not think this was innocent. I think the announcers know that too I have yet to see someone suggest that it was just an accident people who would normally defend him are keeping quiet.

      • Jack Wright

        you are correct.

      • Derek U

        Even in slow motion, it goes from slow, to an all the sudden jerk reaction. If the elbow happened on his release I’d have no problem with that, but it was such an awkward move to not be intentional, and I don’t say that cause I hate the douchebag. I’m surprised that it wasn’t a flagrant 2, but more surprised that it was even a foul……

  • Realist

    Also… I know he’s got a head start cause he’s clearly the dirtiest, but is there a more unlikeable player in the NBA than Dwyane Wade?

    • Realist

      I think he’s now above Artest/Metta for mine. No easy feat.

      • Derek U

        I still haven’t gotten over a couple years ago where he was straight mugging the Pacers left and right with no calls at all.

        • Special K

          Like that CLEARLY deliberate elbow to the back of Lance’s head in one of the ECF games last year. The guy knows he’s fading and he’s taking it out on everyone else.

    • Jack Wright

      without question no

  • thetechnicaltake

    1) going to start calling Evan Turner “Evan Turnover”; he did make 2 nice plays towards the end but defense (rotations) and reliability are still a problem

    2) You are way too critical and hard on Stephenson; he brings “it” every game and has been and continues to be Pacers most reliable/ consistent player on both ends of the floor; the passion is great and if it wasn’t for Wade’s acting/ antics the second technical never would have been called; he has shown a willingness and desire to learn from his mistakes and getting all over him and using words like “dumb” aren’t appropriate — he has basketball smarts

    How was Stephenson’s “taunt” to Wade any different than Le Bron’s hand clapping in front of PG near the end of the second quarter?

    Thank You!

    • Joe Betz

      Way too hard on Lance, Mr. Wade. Completely agree with the above post. Stephenson says nothing. He gets tangled with Chalmers feet, stares at Wade for two seconds while turning toward his bench and flexing toward the crowd after a timeout…big whoop. LeBron passes for a Bosh three while falling out of bounds and claps aggressively in PG’s direction while PG talks to the official. Later, after his BS and1 Bron gets from a little bump from Lance, he stares at Lance and crooks his hand down. The difference between Lance getting a tech and LeBron not: the Pacers don’t surround and pressure the ref, and the taunted player (PG and Lance), don’t stare at LeBron afterward.

      I can’t fully agree with the Turner comment. He is working hard on defense, but he is still learning how to play with the guys on the team. He didn’t go for a Wade shot fake…that’s something, right?

      • thetechnicaltake

        Turner is moving his feet better and staying in front of his man but he is still slow to rotate

        Hopefully he will get it!

      • Derek U

        We have a new saying at work. Everybody cries for a foul, only the Heat get them… The Heat surrounding the ref for a taunting call a great example of this. Also, Wades face is the closest thing you’ll ever see to a literal “Lightbulb” going off as you can see him realize that Lance already had a technical.

        • llcoolray3000

          Exactly! Watching the replay, you can see Wade grinning, but as soon as Stephenson has his back to him, he starts with the crying.

    • Jack Wright

      Was on the verge of clicking the down icon when I read your first point about Evan Turner. I thought he played excellent last night. Made plays.

      I agree completely with your second point.

      • Philip Tarrant

        I agree completely with both of your points.

  • Special K

    Nice Rik Smits stat line from Hibbert. Thank goodness the defense came back. Any time you hold the Heat to 83, that’s how you won the game. I was horrified that they were going to give up one of their recently patented 30 point quarters and get their doors blown off.

  • Derek U

    At what point do we start begging for Copeland over Scola? He isn’t rebounding, he isn’t hitting his mid-ranger jumpers, he’s never defended. Currently his rebounding is sucking…. Just not sure what I’m seeing out there right now.

    • Jack Wright

      I kept track of his obvious screw ups vs. good plays… 5 to 1, respectively. If I were Vogel I’d be experimenting to find out which one out of Scola, Cope, Rasual or Lavoy we should go with in the playoffs. And it ain’t Scola.

      • Derek U

        I like the combo of Lavoy / Cope. Cope can shoot, Lavoy can rebound. Just play to what you need. Right now, we just need someone with confidence and I’m not seeing that in Scola right now. He started out great, but if he doesn’t get back on track he’ll be a hard player to root for next year.

  • Jack Wright

    Some random thoughts:
    1. The next time we play the Heat, they will be focused on playing physical. The problem is that they really have no idea how to play physical basketball. Instead, they play really, really dirty. So I’ll be expecting that.

    2. Get off Lance’s back. By putting any blame on him whatsoever, you’re crediting the judgment of those bullshit refs who were boning us all game long.

    • Philip Tarrant

      1. Sounds probable. Did you see their sullen post-game comments with lebron butt-hurt about how his schnoz got a boo-boo and bosh echoing the bitch? Sounds like they plan on revenge.

      2. I agree to some extent. The ejection was bogus, but you have to maintain composure all the same. I do love the intensity, though.

      3. Disagree about Scola. He’s had shooting problems of late, but can have a huge impact for our bench scoring when he’s on. Definitely an asset.

      4. Agreed!

  • Tony

    Im not sure PG’s defense was SPECIAL. LeBron had his way all night. His teammates did nothing (Wade only other one in double figures with 15). The rest is accurate.