Post-Game Grade: Pacers Give One Away in Toronto

postgamegrades_inpost

The Good - Look, this isn’t a good basketball team anymore. Forget whatever you thought this team was in December and just watch what is happening. They stink. On both ends of the floor, and there is no longer a single player on the squad you can rely on to produce. You honestly can’t even rely on anyone to play well.

But the Pacers did play well tonight for almost the whole game. They just forgot about the final four minutes, when they did the equivalent of projectile vomiting all over their new girlfriend’s mom on mother’s day. They also were awful at the end of the second quarter.

For the rest of the game, however, they played pretty damn well. As sad as that sounds — and as bad as losing to the Raptors without Kyle Lowry and Amir Johnson is — this was progress. You can pretend this is still a team that should beat a short-handed Raptors’ team even on the road. But it’s just not. So what we saw here was a bad team getting a bit better tonight, even in defeat.

The Bad - The last four minutes. When they were outscored 10-0. That’s a 10-o run. To lose the game. It was so pathetic.

MVP - Terrence Ross. Kid couldn’t miss early and finished the game with 24 points. Paul George’s second half performance (19 points) may have outshined Ross’ shooting display but the Raptors won and second prize is you’re fired.

LVP - Roy Hibbert is hard to take seriously anymore.

X Factor - Donald Sloan. The back-up to the injured back-up did his thing tonight.

Indiana Pacers 94 Final
Recap | Box Score
102 Toronto Raptors
David West, PF 34 MIN | 9-16 FG | 3-3 FT | 7 REB | 4 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 21 PTS | -5

Dropped 8 early points and set the tone with a physical presence. His most encouraging offensive game in some time.

Paul George, SF 40 MIN | 7-17 FG | 9-10 FT | 6 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 26 PTS | -4

There were glimmers of early-season PG throughout and the guy really took over for awhile. Scored 19 in the second half while eating at the line, and made 4-of-7 shots in the 4th quarter. Played some remarkable defense at times.

Roy Hibbert, C 32 MIN | 5-13 FG | 2-3 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 12 PTS | -2

Had a few nice moves early then turned into a pumpkin. Was downright embarrassing himself late with his inability to even compete for rebounds.

George Hill, PG 35 MIN | 2-5 FG | 3-4 FT | 4 REB | 5 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 8 PTS | -3

Like him in the first half. Thought less of his play after that while not noticing him much on offense.

Lance Stephenson, SG 28 MIN | 2-5 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 6 PTS | -13

Missed a critical layup late as he grabbed a board and took off. He got a clean look at the rim, but if you can’t finish there, people are going to question the decision to take it coast-to-cost 1-on-4. (Would have been cool if anyone ran with him too, but ya know … Pacers.) Moreover, Indiana simply needs more production from Lance since Roy and Hill are essentially now expected to be non-factors from an output standpoint.

Luis Scola, PF 14 MIN | 3-7 FG | 0-2 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | -3

Did his part in the fourth quarter, which was nice.

Evan Turner, SF 20 MIN | 1-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | +3

Thought he played better than his line. Great pass to Luis, some nice rebounding and probably the best defensive play of his life while staying in front of/contesting a Ross jumper in the 2nd quarter (for which he was whistled for a foul). Still, 1-for-8 just isn’t acceptable even if you’re grabbing some of your own misses.

Ian Mahinmi, C 16 MIN | 1-2 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 4 PTS | -4

Did Mahinmi stuff. Tried a no-look interior pass, too, and that was predictably picked off — so, ya know, never do that ever again, please and thank you.

Donald Sloan, PG 13 MIN | 3-4 FG | 2-2 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 9 PTS | -5

Yeah, buddy. Nice work. Stuck a corner three, got to the line, and made stuff happen. When Sloan gives you 9 points of the bench, Indiana should win.

Rasual Butler, SG 8 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -4

Had a Mutombo-level swat. No, no, no. Not today.

Tags: Indiana Pacers

  • Special K

    The Pacers had a two point lead with about 4:30 left and then NEVER. SCORED. AGAIN. That is just awful. This team is awful. You can’t score less than twenty in more than one quarter per game THIS CONSISTENTLY and be considered anything resembling a contender. They’re 7-11 over the last 18. They’re the Cavs or the Kings right now. That’s where we are.
    I was down on Hibbert all last year. And then for just a MINUTE he looked like he might be worth something close to the max contract he got. And now we’re back to the same soft, weak, slow footed guy that’s not really good at anything except jumping directly straight up. In other words exactly who he’s always been. What happened to the guy that went for 19 and 18 against the Heat?
    Unless something miraculous happens, their season is already over. Sure they might make it out of the first round. If either the Bulls or Brooklyn move up to the 3 seed, the Pacers won’t even make it to the conference finals. Miami’s path to the Finals is paved thanks to the Pacers complete lack of mental toughness. It’s astounding. The team is flat out WEAK.

    • Jack Wright

      You think this Raptors team is a joke? You’re spewing some typical media crap right now. Why dismiss the Raptors by not including them with the Bulls and Nets? The Raptors are better and have a greater shot at meeting us (and beating us) in the 2nd round.

      This was gonna be a tough one to win whether or not our colossal slump ever occurred. At least we’ve looked much closer to our old selves these last two games, and I liked seeing PG go off a little after the Salmons skirmish. He can still step it up in big moments.. That’s good to see. And I’m as frustrated as anybody with Hibbert, but if he can still pick his game up in the playoffs (which he’s been known to do), his regular season awfulness will be nothing but spilt milk.

      • Special K

        Typical media crap? Wow . . . okay.
        No, Toronto is not a nobody, but they also don’t have the style (Chicago) or overall talent (Brooklyn) of other teams that will be far more dangerous in the PLAYOFFS. The playoffs are just as much about experience as skill, and the Raptors don’t have much.
        And yes it would have been a tough game to win. Any road game against another playoff team would be. My point was that they were right in it and then bowed out by scoring only two points in the last five minutes. Win or lose, that is horrendous.

        • Junior Qamar

          Credit that to torontos top 5 defense in the nba and you will understand that it was not a fluke. It happened on jan 1st in indy and theyve done this to many teams this season. Best 4th quarter team in the nba no one is even close to toronto in 4th quarters

    • Junior Qamar

      “If brooklyn or chicago move up tobthe 3rd seed.” U guys should fear the raptors at the 3rd seed more than both chicago and brooklyn. Toronto matches up too welll against ur soft indy team. We beat u guys twice this season and convincingly. Missing 2 of our top 3 players and still handed your team the loss. As a toronto fan we relush the oppertujity to spoil ur year in the second round. Watch out…wheres bynum btw you would think a crucial stretch of the season would b enough to play him.

  • Realist

    …and the Heat lose in double OT. We could’ve been the 1-seed again right now with Atlanta and Milwaukee as our next two games.

    What a tease, Indiana. SIGH

  • Melinda

    I think you went a little to easy on Hibbert and Scola. Hibbert has to stop throwing the ball at the backboard. And I don’t know what happened to Scola’s midrange jump shot. If not for those two things happening multiple times in this game, Pacers win this game.

    • Earl Malmsteen

      This, especially Roy. He looks hopeless on offense and Valanciunas ate his lunch on the boards and by putting up 10 more points on 1 more shot.

  • Jack Wright

    I think part of the problem with PG’s game is that when he’s driving it in, like on fast breaks, he sorta plans out in his head what move he’s going to make instead of just playing and reacting to the defense and the situation. Could be why we so often see him make disgusting euro-step moves that never work or passes that make you scratch your head. The only time I recall one of his euro-steps actually working was against Lebron in game 6(?) last year, which could be why PG still uses it so much. His offensive game seems much more fluid when he’s taking what the defense is giving him.. and not just forcing drives to the basket.

    It really hurts us that we can’t consistently put 2-3 points on the board during simple 3 on 2 or 2 on 1 transition situations. And usually it’s PG that causes the screw up.

    • Jack Wright

      Also, I’ve been so proud of Ian Mahinmi lately. You couldn’t ask for a better backup center.
      I’m talking to you, Larry. You knucklehead.

    • Special K

      He goes in sometimes expecting to be fouled and makes a barely half hearted effort to get the ball in the basket. That’s just a lack of effort. There were two fast breaks in the last game at Chicago where he played for the foul call instead of actually trying to score. One of the times he didn’t get the call and the Pacers ended up with nothing.

      • Jack Wright

        Not a lack of effort and it’s not that he’s expecting to be fouled, which is a common thought about PG. When he makes those bonehead plays, he isn’t taking what the defense gives him. He picks a move in his head and goes for it, which leads to a lot of “WTF PAUL??” moments and him whining about not getting fouled.