Post-Game Grades: Pacers Survive in Atlanta, Force Game 7


The Good: Not losing in the first round to an eight seed that went 38-44 this year while playing in the Eastern Conference. The last few possessions, where David West scored and earned free throws, and George Hill penetrated for a bucket.

The Bad: Frank Vogel having some sort of memory-loss condition that makes him forget how his team plays against the Hawks when Roy Hibbert steps foot on the court.

MVP: David West. He was nails down stretch and continued to prove that he is the team’s best decision maker. When the team went small (or had Ian Mahinmi in rather than Hibbert) and spread out the offense, West was able to handle the ball in the middle of the court (or be a good decoy in the pick and roll) and help create good offense.

LVP: Roy Hibbert. He wasn’t even that bad, really, he just — quite literally in terms of this “award” — adds the least value of any player.

X Factor: C.J. Watson didn’t put up many numbers, but he was assertive as soon as he entered the game and that is when Indiana started playing with more focus and purpose.

Indiana Pacers 95 Final
Recap | Box Score
88 Atlanta Hawks
David West, PF 40 MIN | 10-20 FG | 4-4 FT | 11 REB | 6 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 24 PTS | +6Very good job not losing to the Hawks in 6.
Paul George, SF 38 MIN | 7-18 FG | 9-10 FT | 8 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 24 PTS | +19Very good job not losing to the Hawks in 6.
Roy Hibbert, C 12 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -12My man.
George Hill, PG 37 MIN | 5-12 FG | 2-4 FT | 4 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 14 PTS | -7Good job not losing to the Hawks in 6.
Lance Stephenson, SG 41 MIN | 7-13 FG | 6-7 FT | 9 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 21 PTS | +4Good job not losing to the Hawks in 6.
Chris Copeland, SF 18 MIN | 1-2 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 5 PTS | +7Good job not losing to the Hawks in 6.
Ian Mahinmi, C 23 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | +8Good job not losing to the Hawks in 6.
C.J. Watson, PG 27 MIN | 3-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 7 PTS | +7Good job not losing to the Hawks in 6.
Rasual Butler, SG 2 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | +1Good job not losing to the Hawks in 6.
Frank Vogel
Good job not losing to the Hawks in 6.

Tags: Indiana Pacers

  • Josh Boeke

    A bit of rain on the parade with these grades, but yeah, Vogel has entered some kind of bizarro world where he refuses to see what is so very obvious to literally every other person watching the game, including, apparently, his own players. Part of me thinks Roy picked up those two early fouls on purpose just to save Frank from himself.

  • Realist

    How many points headstart will we give the Hawks in Game 7?
    = how long will Vogel leave Hibbert in as a token starter?

    Come on, Frank. This is not the underpants gnomes profit formula we’re talking about here. This one’s easy.

  • Ian

    Very interesting decisions from Frank. Turner didn’t see any minutes. Scola basically was just on to inbound the ball at the end of the game.

    I agree the whole Hibbert thing is frustrating. Even Hibbert can see Frank started him to save his ego, so it can’t really be that morale-boosting. Perhaps he’s trying to avoid the media story ‘Hibbert benched’. But still, they ended up spotting the Hawks 10 points because of the decision. This game would not have been nearly as close if Hibbert hadn’t started. The short stretch in the 4th wasn’t bad, he got a couple nice rebounds, but really, just not useful in this series. Vogel’s challenge is that the Pacers WILL need Hibbert if the Pacers make it past this series. Of course, the problem is that none of that will matter if they don’t. The +/- really does tell it all, Hibs played 12 minutes and had a -12.

    Hill was the only other player at -7. If Hill could hit midrange jumpers he’d be so much better a player. He’s good around the basket and good from 3pt range, but when he comes off a screen and has an open 15 footer, its almost an automatic miss.

    Copeland made a few mistakes, but again, he had a +7 +/- and you could see how much better the offense is when he’s out there. And again, he was solid on D. I’m glad Butler got a few minutes though he didn’t do much. Not sure why he hasn’t played more, he was always effective when he played this season.

    • Ian

      Also just noticed this. Paul George led the Pacers with a +19 +/-. Now think about that. He played that entire stretch when the Pacers were down 15-5 when Hibbert was in! His shooting was off but I think that says about what an impact he has when he’s on the floor.

      It hasn’t been talked about much because the Pacers have struggled against the 8 seed, but PG has basically been All-Star PG, post ASG PG, in this series, having a huge impact on both ends.

      • Realist

        Agreed. PG has been enormous, and it has gone largely unnoticed.

      • Ian

        One more comment on +/-. Mike Scott was the worst of all players with a -15, and missed all 6 of his 3s. Why? Because HES NOT A GOOD SHOOTER. I bet we won’t be hearing about that though like we heard about his 5/5 quarter in game 5.

      • Jack Wright

        PG’s been better but he still needs to start knocking down shots.

  • Brandon Burton

    F for Vogel? WTF? Did I misread the scoreboard and we really lost the game? He can’t just up on Hibbert, and I’m sure that’s why you graded him that way; seeing as how you give no explanation at all. At the very least he deserves a C, how can he get a failing grade in a win; where in the world does that logic come from?

    • Will Rettig

      Brandon, I understand where you’re coming from. However, as Jared noted, Hibbert contributed the least and was the least effective of any of the starters and, essentially, any of the players that stepped on the court tonight. Granted, Roy had a couple blocks and a couple rebounds late that were very, very helpful, but he is still contributing next to nothing. Which is what Jared is basing these grades on — Vogel, he is the one ultimately inserting Hibbert into a game in which the 7’2″ center is the slowest man on the court and simply doesn’t fit into the flow of the game. Look at Hibbert’s +/- … it’s a -12. The “F” for Vogel could be a typo, but it’s fitting because Vogel cannot get away from using Hibbert and it took Vogel so long to realize the right lineup that works. Hopefully this helps to explain things, and I expect Vogel to coach the Pacers to a series win to earn an “A.”

      • AMF1322

        Give him a D, not an F. Also, Hibbert has some minutes to play in game 7: the minutes Elton Brand is on the floor.

  • tonyroma

    Frank sees what we do, but he and I saw Hibbert make strides getting his confidence back as he protected the paint better than he has in weeks. But Frank needs to get credit for the last three minutes because every call was dead right and the team was locked in enough to win the game. Saturday will be Indy’s first NBA Game 7. I expect we’ll be alright, the fans won’t let them lose this one as long as the players put forth the effort we saw down the stretch. If they do, it’s a lock.