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.
|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.