Post-Game Grades: Paul George Takes Over 4th Quarter, Pacers Stay Alive

The Good: Indiana’s had some really good defensive runs, but it’s hard to single anything out in one of the strangest playoff games I’ve ever seen. Every other play in the second half was something odd.

The Bad: Second quarter offense. I could bore you with some nuance, but they scored 11 points in 12 minutes. That happened. In an elimination game at home. Inexplicable.

MVP: Paul goddamn George. I’m still waiting for an official statistical nugget tweet from ESPN Stats & Info or Elias, but this has to be one of the best fourth quarters in NBA playoff history. At least when you narrow it down to Conference Finals and NBA Finals performances. PG his 8-of-10 shots while scoring 21 points in the fourth and snagging 3 steals. He was unreal on every level, and the guy just turned 24 years old. What an amazing performance. One for the all-time annals.

LVP: LeBron James. His foul trouble kept him to just 24 minutes on the court and his 2-for-10 shooting remains unbelievable to read in a box score. I keep refreshing but nothing changes.

X-Factor: Rashard Lewis. That Dwight Howard’s favorite stretch four made an impact on this series on the defensive end was an interesting nugget from previous games. But him hitting 6 triples in a 2014 Eastern Conference Finals game is just amazing. All us old guys out here fist-pumping about this one.


Miami Heat 90 Final
Recap | Box Score
93 Indiana Pacers
David West, PF 41 MIN | 7-11 FG | 5-8 FT | 9 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 19 PTS | +5

Playing another game.

Paul George, SF 45 MIN | 15-28 FG | 2-3 FT | 6 REB | 2 AST | 6 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 37 PTS | +9

Playing another game.

Roy Hibbert, C 38 MIN | 4-11 FG | 2-3 FT | 13 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 10 PTS | +9

Playing another game.

George Hill, PG 38 MIN | 4-9 FG | 0-2 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 9 PTS | +12

Playing another game.

Lance Stephenson, SG 43 MIN | 4-11 FG | 4-4 FT | 5 REB | 5 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 12 PTS | +3

Playing another game.

Luis Scola, PF 17 MIN | 3-6 FG | 0-2 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 6 PTS | -6

Playing another game.

C.J. Watson, PG 13 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -4

Playing another game.

Rasual Butler, SG 5 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | -11

Playing another game.

Tags: Indiana Pacers

  • llcoolray3000

    These Pacers have Jared Wade absolutely incredulous.

  • disqus_atlq8Zmtsd

    Some thoughts.

    1) George’s scalp lit on fire, and the only way Miami was gonna put it out was with a hammer.

    2) I hate Lance so much. The guy is malicious piece of human waste…. and since I’m a Miami fan, that should be taken as a compliment as far as the impact he has on the game.

    3) Pacers didn’t get home cooking tonight, but the whistles were definitely conducive to the type of play that STRONGLY favors the heavier front line. I feel justified in being frustrated with the whistles but didn’t feel there were any inconsistent whistles outside of a few missed calls that were fairly understandable.

    4) Lewis can still hit the corner three if you don’t bother covering him. A good shooting performance like that can be replicated if Indiana chooses to leave him alone like that.

    5) Miami came within a hair’s breadth of winning on the road without Birdman or LeBron while Paul George hit very difficult shots at an unbelievable clip. I’ve gotta think some of those factors will flip in Miami (at least the road part).

    Great win for the Pacers. Enjoy every moment of it, and I fully expect you to gloat about it.

    • Jack Wright

      You can scrounge up as many factors as you like that point to the Pacers narrowly escaping despite everything going in our favor. But this was a C+ game for us.

      • poot

        Right on Jack. I could write the exact same story about Games 2 & 3.

        one example:
        game 2 Lebron “strips” Hill on a 3 point attempt and heat score 2 on a fast break. no call. replays show Lebron raked Hill across the bicep down to the forearm and did not touch the ball until it was already out of Hill’s hand.

        Later Hill anticipates an inbounds to Cole, hits the ball (all ball) off of Cole and out of bounds. foul called on Hill. consistent refereeing at its finest.

    • Special K

      Lance seems to be slowly morphing in to J.R. Smith. A good player, but a complete side show.

    • poot

      ” The guy is malicious piece of human waste…. ”

      are you talking about DWade? Lance is still far from reaching that level.
      First he has to dislocate Rondo’s shoulder
      then he has to break Kobe’s nose
      Maybe he should shove a defenseless Rip Hamilton out of bounds
      Or open field tackle Darren Collison on a fast break
      Perhaps he should ask to be paid to play in the Olympics, make fun of Dirk for being sick, or throw Bibby’s shoe into the stands during play, or publicly cheat on his wife
      or kick Ramon Sessions in the nuts
      or give Paul George a concussion

      THEN you can talk about Lance being a malicious piece of human waste.

      jeez you heat fans are so biased when you look at everything. “all those plays were ACCIDENTs, Wade was just being agressive”
      yeah, and Lance is a saint who knows how to get in opponents heads. works both ways.

      • Jack Wright

        poot ur a genius

      • disqus_atlq8Zmtsd

        Was my saying to take it as a compliment not an outright acknowledgement that it stemmed entirely from my feelings as a fan of the Heat?

        Emotional bias doesn’t equal intellectual bias. But yeah, I do think some of those Wade plays were accidents. I also think a few of them were “dirty” plays where he was trying to get physical even if he wasn’t trying to injure someone.

        The Ramone Sessions play was absolutely egregious and deserves the highest reprimand.

        At the same time, Wade has never pushed his girlfriend down a staircase that I know of.

  • Ian

    Bizarre box score to read. I refused to watch this game, but I did watch the 4th quarter on record. If you had told me before the game the Pacers would shoot a higher percentage, have fewer turnovers, fewer fouls, and shoot over double the # of FT as the Heat while outrebounding them by 7, and LeBron only having 7 points, I’d have said it was going to be a blowout, but…

    Miami shot 48.4% from 3 on a whopping 31 attempts, even Atlanta would be proud of that. That an Indy’s awful foul shooting are the only reason this ended up being close. Lewis is a %34 shooter this season from there, and for the 2nd game in a row, the worst 3 point shooter by volume in NBA history went 2-3 (Wade). Certainly Miami’s accuracy from 3 somewhat made up for LeBron’s off night and absence. Once again we can welcome two days of talk about fouls. LeBron will be pissed for Game 6.

    The Pacers will have to be better as a team in game 6 to have any chance of a game 7. With LeBron off the floor they can’t be giving up so many open looks from 3. Beyond PG’s fabulous game (and he still didn’t even manage %40 from 3!), only West was really all that positive of a force on offense. Props to Hibbert for collecting 6 offensive boards though.

    • disqus_atlq8Zmtsd

      They decided to leave Lewis alone in the corner to prevent some of the penetration that has been killing them. That gave Lewis the time to treat it like a practice shot instead of having to speed up the motion to beat a close out.

      Guarantee you Lewis shot better than 34% on uncontested corner threes, so I wouldn’t be too surprised by the 6 threes from him. Indy just decided they could live with it if Lewis was the one that beat them.

      Both of Wade’s makes were open, but it still isn’t generally the shot you want him taking.

      It was as bizarre to watch as the box score would lead you to believe. George caught fire. LeBron barely did anything. That is the story. The officiating was in Indiana’s favor imo, but certainly no more than Miami benefited in game 4. The Pacers should maybe feel grateful for a few of the calls, but they certainly shouldn’t feel guilty about it. It wasn’t bad even though I’m sure Heat fans are losing their minds about the fourth foul on LeBron which was certainly a missed call.

      • Ian

        I think we are sort of saying the same thing.

        My point is 1) The game was far closer than expected given LeBron’s foul trouble 2) The Heat’s supporting players played as well as they could possibly be expected. 3) George had a very good game, though it seemed better than it was since he did most of his damage in the 4th (his overall numbers are good but not earth shattering). 4) Other than that and some decent contributions from West, the rest of the team did not have a good game offensively and had many breakdowns on defense.

        I don’t expect #1 or #2 to happen in game 6, and unlikely George has another game like this last one (though not completely outlandish, its not even his playoff high this year). For the Pacers to have any chance to win 6, #4 will have to improve.

        • disqus_atlq8Zmtsd

          I was just giving some context on Lewis since you didn’t watch most of the game. I really do think his solid 3 point shooting is repeatable if the Pacers decide to continue to concede that shot.

          I’m convinced the Heat have the Pacers figured out if LeBron just keeps his head on the swivel, but it may turn out the Pacers are a diamond in the rough rather than fool’s gold. Certainly winning two games in a row isn’t out of the question for a team that started 16-0.

          • Ian

            It depends on what you mean as repeatable. 3 of Lewis’s 6 3 pointers were not from the corners. During the course of the season he shot less than %35 on catch and shoot 3s (and given the team he plays on, you have to assume most of those were just as open as last night).

            I think its reasonable to assume that on a normal night Lewis misses one or two more of those 3s. And Wade is more likely to go 0-3 from 3 than 2-3. Change it from a combined 8-12 3-point shooting to a 5-12 (still a very good percentage) and the Heat lose by double digits. Take off Bosh’s banked 3 and it gets worse.

            Anyways, my point, as I have said previously, is that net-net, the Pacers can expect LeBron to play better, the Heat not to shoot quite as good from 3, and George probably is not going to score 37 points in game 6. The rest of the Pacers need to play better to give them any chance of winning game 6. I do believe the Pacers have more things that they can realistically do better in Game 6, than things that will regress. But whether they do that or not is anyone’s guess.

          • disqus_atlq8Zmtsd

            I can’t really disagree with any of that. I wasn’t trying to say Lewis WILL shoot 6/9 again, just that it wouldn’t surprise me. He has a stupidly slow release at this point and no lift on his shot, so normally he is having to rush to get his shot off before the close out. Indiana literally decided they weren’t going to guard him until the ball was passed to him for much of the game which gave him time to essentially treat them like practice shots.

            Pacers obviously CAN play better, but their baseline isn’t what it was in December. I’m actually kind of hoping for a game 7… at least the part of me that isn’t worried about fatigue in the Finals.

  • 15points126seconds

    I love his X&Os analysis and stat talk,but as usual, Jared’s post-game grades and twitter comments are frustrating to me as a fan reading a Pacers blog.
    Anyway- he’s already laughing at the foul calls but i’d point to this breakdown that says lebron’s calls weren’t as bad as they’ll inevitably be made out to be in the days to come:

    • disqus_atlq8Zmtsd

      I thought foul 3 was a pretty terrible call…. except that in real time I thought it was a charge. Foul 4 was the kind of weak foul Indiana fans were complaining about after game 4. Foul 5 was LeBron begging to get called for a foul.

      Foul two…. eh. It happens on shot attempts sometimes.

      • Jack Wright

        The charge call was terrible. The loose ball foul with him and Lance going diving for it was a great call.

        • disqus_atlq8Zmtsd


        • Special K

          That charge call seemed like an obvious (and silly) make up call for the offensive foul they’d just tagged Roy with. PG3 was clearly moving on that call.

  • Jack Wright

    If we want to win Game 6, Big Roy needs to have one hell of a good game.

    • Jack Wright

      Also, Bill Simmons has terrible, awful opinions.

      • disqus_atlq8Zmtsd

        What did he say? I watched the game at a bar, so I was driving home during the post game.

  • Pacer Buzz

    I hate when Jared Wade does these lazy post-game grades. If you want some help I will gladly grade and write the blurbs for you, Jared.

    • poot

      Jared has been an employee of ESPN for too long, it is starting to effect his work… here’s what i have to say about the series:


      i dont get it. is America stupid? or just lazy?
      why is everyone just listening to the media and accepting what they have to say?

      especially considering they are all giving the same generic opinion, with little to no support.

      What i refer to, specifically, is “Miami has proven to be the better team” and “Miami has dominated the majority of this series”

      both of those points are flagrantly incorrect. Indiana has been the better team this series. and i would go to lengths to say they’ve been a MUCH better team this series, at least 50% better than the Heat.

      Paul George summed it up best “each of these teams will make runs, we just have to be the team that makes the LAST run”. so far Miami has been lucky in that 2 of the 3 “Close” games, they’ve made the final run and ended up with the W.

      Pacers hold the LEAD in the game:
      Game 1: 100%
      Game 2: ~61%
      Game 3: ~70%
      Game 4: 0%
      Game 5: ~75%
      SERIES: ~60%

      If you judged W/L by who leads the majority of the game, Pacers would have already won this series 4-1.
      If you judged W/L by who leads the majority of the series, Pacers would currently be ahead in the series 3-2.

      But alas, it is decided by the score after 48 arbitrary minutes. The division lines between games signal wins and losses, and Miami has been fortunate to be ahead of Indiana 3 of 5 games.

      But the series is 2-3 for Indiana.
      and consider the 3 losses- the Paul George concussion game, and the two games following that concussion (which he probably should not have played)
      Miami is a DWade knee to the head of PG from going fishing. Instead they will play it out tonight.

      I dont know if the Pacers will win. I personally would not moneyline them tonight (though i dont have money on them beating the +7.5 spread)

      But to say Miami has been dominant this series is assinine. it’s lazy. and it’s pathetic.
      drink the kool-aid: “lebron is god” “pacers dont deserve their success”

      or think for yourself… whatever.

      • Ian

        Games have starts and ends for a reason. The Heat are +12 for the series, so I don’t think your line of reasoning works. That said, +12 over 5 games is hardly dominating. The main issue is that the Heat bring a higher level of effort and concentration more frequently. I do think that if say, both teams played at %90 effectiveness, the Pacers would win. But too often the Heat play at %90 and the Pacers play at %75. And they are not remotely good enough to overcome. The Heat are favorites in game 6 for a reason, but the Pacers have shown good resilience battling back from elimination and until this series were very good on the road. Will be interesting to see what happens.

        Much of the perception is based on the fact that when the Pacers look bad, they look REALLY bad. I think that will always be the case because the Pacers strategy is all about ‘uglying-up’ the game with defense and physicality, while teams Miami and the Western conference teams are all about hyper-efficient offenses. The Pacers tend not to look good even when they are executing their game plan well.

        • poot

          Well said Ian.. I was actually pointing out the hyperbole of the media suggesting that the Heat have been dominating this series because they lead 3-2? or because their net +/- for the series is +12? or an average +/- of 2.4? Is that dominance? as you say, obviously not, and obviously the Pacers have not been dominating either, but the conversations have been so one sided in the other direction that it was just required.

          Many of us love “ugly” basketball. Have you ever watched a RioGrand Vipers game? I have (out of curiosity) and it was terrible. like on a playground with kids who have no skill, just jacking up 3s. Is that what people want to watch? I’d rather watch lockdown D, taking on all challengers and never backing down, but I am alone on this it appears.

          anyway i could write 5000 words on my gripes with the Pacers. mainly not feeding the hot hand, and giving Allen open 3s. But to suggest that Miami is the surperior team is such a reach. +12 in the series means about as much as leading for 60% of the series. It means it’s a coin flip.

  • Special K

    I’m obviously way out on the cynic side here, but I can’t remember a single time in my life where I came away from one of my team’s playoff victories so unhappy.The Pacers won the rebounding battle, the turnover battle, actually won fast break points and decisively won the points in the paint and the free throw battles (despite shooting 59% from the line) – then almost gave the game away in the final minutes.

    Miami spent the game handing the Pacers opportunities – scoring only 16 points in the first quarter, LeBron only playing only 14 minutes through three quarters, a substantial first quarter rebounding deficit – and the Pacers kept finding ways to not only squander them, but to turn them in to advantages for the Heat. Eleven points in the second quarter?! ELEVEN?! You could take 5 random commenters on this blog and put up that total.

    The Pacers didn’t muster a decent effort until the second half, and even then, they tried their hardest to wither more than once in the fourth quarter. It took Paul George channeling the (figurative) ghost of Reggie Miller to hold off Miami late. I can’t see how even the biggest homer thinks that a team this hapless has even the slimmest shot in a Game 6 in Miami. And if they get another miracle, does anyone think they have the fortitude to bother to show up for a Game 7? I don’t.

    • Ian

      I think you can look at it glass half full, half empty. Most of the Pacers team didn’t play well on offense, and the Heat were lights out with a high volume of 3s (and caught some breaks, like Bosh’s banked 3).

      I guess my point is that despite the result from this game and the one-sided stats, there’s actually a ton of room for the Pacers to improve in Game 6 (better shooting on 3s, closing out 3s, hitting free throws). Not saying they will, but I’d rather have that story than the story that the Pacers played their very best game and barely won.

      • poot

        spot on Ian. so many missed free throws. so many missed layups (FUCKING DUNK the ball ROY), so many lucky Miami 3s (Bosh’s bank, Wade making multiple 3s, Lewis foot over the line [which is especially insane that they can review and waive off Hill's after the buzzer shot, but they dont review Lewis' 2 pointer], etc)

        AND i am one of the few who believe that Lebron being out of the game HELPED the Heat because it forced them to just fire away from downtown (the blueprint laid out by the Hawks)

        i hate the media narrative, they are so lazy and stupid and cant think for themselves. Pacers have dominated this series, despite playing horribly, and have just fallen apart at times for various reasons (George concussion, home-cooking, etc)
        It’s just that Miami sucks, but theyre playing their best, so everyone is impressed by them reaching their full potential, trailing the Pacers for over 60% of this series. The Pacers are much better, just are struggling. nothing new there. playing at their worst, they beat Miami twice and led for the majority of two losses. How good can Miami possibly be?

        • Special K

          Better than the Pacers, apparently. If the Pacers can do nothing than play their worst in an entire series in the Eastern Conference Finals, how good are they really?

  • poot

    she is gross looking, saggy and fat, with a fake kardashian face

  • Jack Wright

    she’s hot as shit. but I still like this comment haha