The Good: Roy Hibbert came out of the games looking like one of the best big men in the league. There were plenty of other things to like about the team’s effort (and ESPECIALLY it’s lack of second-half turnovers … 2) but nothing was remotely as significant as this. Indiana played some excellent defense and it’s paint anchor was a factor in that. Throw in his 28 points and overall presence on the court, and we’re looking at a team that might not get laughed at now when it talks about competing with Miami next round. (Although let’s chill on that, me.)
The Bad: The wing tandem didn’t score nearly enough or force the ball into the paint. Paul George, in particular was passive offensively throughout the game, though he did assert himself in a BIG way late, getting to the hoop on multiple occasions. Process-wise, you fault Lance Stephenson less, because his misses were generally on open jumpers, but you would still like to see him take charge and press the issue some. Then again, he did also do this later and probe the defense to create some good looks. Better late than never, that’s for sure — and perhaps that can be a microcosm cliché for this whole Pacers playoffs.
MVP: Luis Scola. No I kid. It’s Roy Hibbert. It just feels weird to type it out like that to be honest. People (including myself, because … obviously) have been clowning him ragged lately, so I’m pretty happy that he has such a big middle finger in case, ya know, he feels like putting it to use this evening.
LVP: Luis Scola. For serious this time. He wasn’t good at all.
X Factor: Ian Mahimni. When he can come in an play this well at the same time when Roy Hibbert is playing well? Man, that’s a bunch of heart burn for the competition. Tonight, he ensured Indiana had two stout rim protectors who were more than holding their own on offense as well. Too bad he died during that tragic Marcin Gortat gasoline fight. He will be missed.
|David West, PF 37 MIN | 3-8 FG | 3-4 FT | 6 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 9 PTS | +10 |
Big ol’ yikes really. Made a few nice decisions late in the game and hit a big jumper when they really needed it but not sure that makes up for some serious non-production during his first 30 minutes on the court.
|Paul George, SF 41 MIN | 5-13 FG | 1-2 FT | 6 REB | 4 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 11 PTS | +6 |
Sorta similar to West. Though his defense was high level throughout and he came up bigger late. That drive and dunk was special.
|Roy Hibbert, C 33 MIN | 10-13 FG | 8-8 FT | 9 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 28 PTS | +16 |
|George Hill, PG 33 MIN | 6-12 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 14 PTS | +10 |
More of this, please and thank you.
|Lance Stephenson, SG 44 MIN | 3-12 FG | 4-4 FT | 7 REB | 5 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 12 PTS | +8 |
The FG% is gross, but it was mostly him missing open shots. I mean, missing open shots is not good by any means, but it’s hard to get all finger wavy about it. Showed up later though. That late step back was monster and hit a bit triple as well.
|Luis Scola, PF 11 MIN | 0-4 FG | 1-1 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 1 PTS | -4 |
He’ll be better next game, you gotta presume.
|Evan Turner, SF 8 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -3 |
He probably won’t.
|Ian Mahinmi, C 14 MIN | 3-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | -14 |
It this is what they get out of 14 minutes of Ian every night, let’s start talking contract extension.
|C.J. Watson, PG 18 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 5 PTS | -9 |
Not as impactful as he has been in past games, but I think that might be good since it means Indiana wasn’t trailing by a bunch when he entered the contest.