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.
|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