Post-Game Grades: After Strong Start, Pacers Blown Out by Heat in Game 3

The Good: First quarter defense. Nobody holds Miami to a 14-point quarter. The Pacers did though, stifling all options, rotating well, and contesting jumpers. Miami made just 6-of-16 shots in the period while turning it over 7 times. The only downside was that Indiana couldn’t put the Heat into a deeper hole.

The Bad: The final 30 minutes, really, but I’ll pinpoint the final 6 minutes of the second quarter. The reserves actually started the period playing well and extending Indiana’s lead to 15. Then the starters came back and played worse than the bench has all season. I’m not even joking there: You can’t play worse than Indy did over those final 6 minutes.

After Rasual Butler made a step-back trey with 6:22 to go in the half, the Pacers didn’t hit another field goal until Lance Stephenson made a layup with 0:37 seconds left. Worse still, they only had 4 FGAs after the Butler 3. They managed 5 total points (3 from the line) and committed 6 turnovers. Yes, 6 giveaways in 6 minutes compared to 4 shots. They got ran out of the building the whole second half, too (Miami shot 59.5% and went 7-for-11 from deep), but the stage was set by that miserable end to the first half.

MVP: Dwyane Wade. He has been brilliant all series long, and his ability to defeat the Pacers defense allowed Miami to get back into the game and then take the lead. The Pacers are playing him like they want to: Having Hibbert waiting and sagging back to protect the rim when he penetrates on the pick and roll. But he just tossed floater after floater over the 7’2″ wall like tossing pennies into a wishing well. This is the shot the Pacers theoretically want him taking, but they may have to adjust if he continues to make them at an en-fuego-Tony-Parker rate. After starting off the game 0-for-2, he went 9-for-14 the rest of the way.

LVP: George Hill. He had the worst turnover of anybody (plus another that was less egregious) during the late-second-quarter collapse that turned the game in Miami’s favor for good. He also stayed in foul trouble the whole game. Fair or not, officiating-wise, he never got into a rhythm and his early-fourth-quarter aggressiveness notwithstanding, he was little help out there.

X-Factor: Hey Seuss Shuttlesworth. He was vintage Ray Allen tonight, hitting 4 triples in the 4th to shove the dagger into the Pacers’ back. No, not a dagger. Like a missile. Or a few missles.

Indiana Pacers 87 Final
Recap | Box Score
99 Miami Heat
David West, PF 35 MIN | 5-8 FG | 3-3 FT | 5 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 5 TO | 13 PTS | -21

Started off the game well by destroying Shane Battier, then did almost nothing the rest of the way. Had some nice passes, but some disgusting turnovers. Couldn’t find a way to get going in the second half, often while being guarded by Rashard Lewis of all people.

Paul George, SF 32 MIN | 5-13 FG | 6-10 FT | 2 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 17 PTS | -10

Foul trouble, which really wasn’t his fault as he got jobbed on some calls. I won’t speculate on his health coming off of a concussion, but he wasn’t able to find a rhythm and sitting on the bench for an extended stretch didn’t appear to help. Made some plays late, but it was, well, too late, and the Pacers couldn’t stop the Heat at that point so it didn’t matter.

Roy Hibbert, C 36 MIN | 7-13 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 16 PTS | -21

Solid by and large, hitting shots early and protecting the rim pretty well all game. He missed some rotations, but this wasn’t the bad, passive defender we’ve seen in the recent past. Guys shot over him.

George Hill, PG 21 MIN | 2-5 FG | 3-3 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 8 PTS | +8

See LVP blurb.

Lance Stephenson, SG 46 MIN | 3-9 FG | 4-5 FT | 11 REB | 5 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 10 PTS | -9

Big start, particularly on the glass, and it’s notable that he was the only Pacer starter who contributed in the second quarter (8 points, 7 boards in the period). But disappeared in the second half, going scoreless in the 4th while attempting just one shot (a three that he missed).

Luis Scola, PF 13 MIN | 4-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 8 PTS | +9

His best game of the playoffs. Made some excellent post moves.

Evan Turner, SF 4 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | -5

Whatever at this point. Vogel gave him a short shot out there and he was miserable.

Ian Mahinmi, C 9 MIN | 1-1 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 3 PTS | +6

Played well.

C.J. Watson, PG 28 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 6 PTS | -17

Some good, some bad, but his energy seemed helpful. Only 1 turnover in 27 minutes is a godsend.

Rasual Butler, SG 17 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | 0

Continues to do well in his time.

Tags: Indiana Pacers

  • disqus_atlq8Zmtsd

    Jared, I don’t know if you read your comments but I would love to see a piece on how you think Indy should respond to that lineup Miami was using that resulted in West guarding Ray Allen. Does Indy need to switch on screens more? Move West onto someone else? Go small so West can guard Bosh?

    It certainly seems like he can’t be expected to keep up with Ray on those curl screens.

  • disqus_atlq8Zmtsd

    Officiating was bad all around tonight. Touch fouls on both ends of the floor, and the refs absolutely weren’t going to give verticality to Miami like the do the Pacers’ centers.

    Officials probably hurt the Pacers more since George is more valuable than Bosh in this series. Regardless, both teams should be irked by the inconsistent standards.

  • Stan Hooper

    We should rename this blog 4 Points, 6 Minutes. Or 37 Minutes, 2 Rebounds. Or Lance Stephenson, Lol.

    • disqus_atlq8Zmtsd

      Miami could rename theirs “5 points, 9 minutes.” Would be a little more derisive if they hadn’t won….

      Seriously though, how do they look that bad and then score 33 points in the third quarter?

  • Joe Betz

    Can we start discussing how this series looks with Granger in the mix? Butler is having some throwback performances, but I have to assume that Granger would be giving something more to this team….Turner and Lavoy Allen are doing absolutely nothing. Somewhere Sam Young is laughing.

    • Jack Wright

      Lavoy has been given zero chance