Post Game Grades: Pacers Drop Pivotal Game 4, Series Headed to At Least Six Games


The Pacers came out of the gates looking like a completely different team than the one that didn’t show up in Game 3. They took a 21-14 lead 9:30 minutes into the game by pounding the ball inside to Roy Hibbert and David West.

Then the Game 3 Pacers’ disappearing act ended. They allowed the Hawks to end the quarter on a 7-0 run, including a completely unacceptable Devin Harris layup with no time left on the shot clock.

The bleeding continued into the 2nd quarter, which the Hawks turned into a 15-1 run. Allowing a 15-1 run at any point in a game is going to make it very difficult to win no matter how well you play the rest of the game. The Pacers started settling for long-range shots and not even attempting to get into the paint. At one point I was sure I was watching a three-point shootout between Kyle Korver/Josh Smith and DJ Augustin/Gerald Green. (Advantage: Hawks)

That is not Pacers basketball.

Pacers basketball is setting the pace despite what the other team is attempting to do. When they don’t succeed in setting the tempo, they attempt to do things that this roster just isn’t built for. Misses on threes lead to long rebounds and easy transition chances for the opponents. In Games 3 and 4, the Pacers attempted 25 and 23 three pointers, respectively. They averaged 19.7 three-point attempts per game during the regular season.

This game showed how bad Gerald Green can be at times. When he finally hit a three in the second quarter, he followed it up on the very next possession by failing to get around a screen on defense that left Korver open for an uncontested three (which he drained). I fail to understand how Orlando Johnson has yet to get any (significant) minutes in this series.

At the end of the first half, the Pacers trailed 59-40. Between the 2:30 mark in the first quarter to the end of the first half, the Pacers got outscored 43-19. In that span they attempted 11 of their 24 shots from beyond the arc, with only seven attempts in the paint.

A tweet by Andrew Perna of Real GM (after the game), summed up the Pacers defensive failings so far in this game — and series.

They came out of the half with a completely different intensity, however.

The defense was completely locked in, and they were able to cut the lead to seven after a 22-12 third quarter. In the period, they held the Hawks to an insane 15% shooting.

Here’s a look at how dominant the Pacers D can be when it’s at its best.

Unfortunately, the offense is still suspect and wasn’t able to capitalize completely.

Throughout the entire 4th quarter, the game was within reach for the Pacers, but they showed why they’re still a young team. The Hawks missed a ton of free throws, and the Pacers didn’t take advantage of it. Paul George, who had his moments in the quarter, tried to do too many things down the stretch, and the team allowed too many open threes and offensive rebounds.

Now Indiana has a must win Game 5 coming up at home.

Here is how each guy played individually tonight. Agree? Disagree? Express your thoughts below in the comments or yell at me (@a928man), Jared (@8pts9secs) or Tim (@TimDonahue8p9s) on Twitter.

David West, PF 39 MIN | 5-14 FG | 5-5 FT | 6 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 15 PTS | -2

What is going on with him? He looks like he isn’t 100% in the game which is completely uncharacteristic for him.Paul George, SF 41 MIN | 6-16 FG | 6-8 FT | 12 REB | 2 AST | 4 STL | 1 BLK | 4 TO | 21 PTS | -7

Tried to do too much late in the game. Made a couple threes then missed two, one of which he completely tried to create on his own. He’s not that kind of player yet …Roy Hibbert, C 31 MIN | 6-11 FG | 2-2 FT | 7 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 1 TO | 14 PTS | +1

Foul trouble limited what he was able to do. When he was in during the second half he was contesting every shot the Hawks took at the rim.George Hill, PG 41 MIN | 4-15 FG | 4-4 FT | 2 REB | 6 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 12 PTS | -5

Ouch. Can we start Lance at point instead? His hip seems to really be a problem; he’s missing everything.Lance Stephenson, SG 41 MIN | 4-9 FG | 1-2 FT | 9 REB | 8 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 10 PTS | +4

Wow. Good morning Lance. 8 assists? Lot’s of energy in the 2nd half.

Tyler Hansbrough, PF 13 MIN | 2-5 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 5 PTS | -10

More or less a non factor.Gerald Green, SF 8 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 3 PTS | -14

Where is OJ?Ian Mahinmi, C 12 MIN | 1-4 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 3 PTS | -7

Very solid minutes with Roy n foul trouble.D.J. Augustin, PG 14 MIN | 3-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 8 PTS | -15

Man has DJ been good this series. Starting to hit his threes.