Post-Game Grades: Indiana Pacers Swarm To A Win Against The Hornets

Feb 8, 2015; Charlotte, NC, USA; The Indiana Pacers take to the floor before the game against the Charlotte Hornets at Time Warner Cable Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 8, 2015; Charlotte, NC, USA; The Indiana Pacers take to the floor before the game against the Charlotte Hornets at Time Warner Cable Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports /

The Good: It feels good to say this: There was A LOT of good in tonight’s Pacers win. The Indiana Pacers battled back from a 21-point deficit on the road against a team that beat them in a similar situation about a month ago. That makes Indiana 2-1 against Charlotte on the season, all 3 games were extremely close and decided in the final moments of the game. The fact that Indiana has claimed 2 of those close victories is incredibly important, especially if those are the deciding factors in who sneaks into the playoffs at the end of the year. I’m proud of this team. Tonight was a great team victory, giving the Indiana Pacers a third consecutive win. That’s their longest streak of the year.

The Bad: Although there was lots of good, there was definitely a few bad moments throughout the night. The Pacers need to tighten up on D. They gave up over 100 points and were staring at a blowout loss midway through the third quarter. It was looking ugly, but luckily things turned around. Also, the Pacers need so much more from Roy Hibbert , but you already knew that. Don’t even get me started. Let’s just focus on the good. Re-read that section (above) like 20 times tonight.

MVP: My man, Luis Scola, was the MVP of tonight’s win. I love it when Luis plays this way. Not only were his shots falling, but he grabbed himself 14 rebounds for a pretty robust double-double. Scola was a significant factor in the comeback win tonight with much more than his tangible statistics. He played some tough defense towards the end of the game that lead to positive possessions and eventually a win.

LVP: I would have to say that CJ Miles was the weakest link tonight. Why was he even in the game down the stretch? His shots weren’t falling early and he eventually just became a fifth guy on the court for Indiana, rather than an actual shooting threat. After a 26-point masterpiece of a performance against the Cleveland Cavaliers Friday night, Miles came out and pretty much did the exact opposite tonight. I’m just glad his poor performance didn’t end the precious winning streak.

X-Factor: The Pacers bench was awesome tonight. Scola (15) and Watson (22) really helped propel the Pacers in the third quarter, which ultimately led to the successful comeback. The Pacers also got decent minutes from Shayne Whittington while our big man was struggling on Jefferson. Solomon Hill also chipped in a well-rounded performance. Overall, the bench was the X-Factor for tonight’s win. It’s definitely encouraging to see such a well-rounded win at this point in the season.

Indiana Pacers103FinalRecap | Box Score102Charlotte Hornets
David West, PF 31 MIN | 5-13 FG | 5-6 FT | 6 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 15 PTS | -2 +/-David West delivered a solid performance tonight. He chipped in 15 points and made some great defensive plays down the stretch to help the Pacers claim the victory.
Roy Hibbert, C 30 MIN | 2-9 FG | 3-3 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 7 PTS | -13 +/-Hibbert had a rough night. I actually felt embarrassed for Roy after a few of the moves Big Al Jefferson put on him. Roy look some ill-advised jump shots early in the game and it seemed like those bricks got him out of his rhythm. As we all know, once Roy loses his rhythm, he loses his confidence and then it’s all downhill from there.
George Hill, PG 27 MIN | 4-10 FG | 2-2 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 11 PTS | -6 +/-GAME WINNER. Tonight wasn’t his greatest game, but he got the job done. Did I mention… GAME WINNER.
Rodney Stuckey, PG 29 MIN | 6-12 FG | 3-3 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 15 PTS | -7 +/-Stuckey came up big for the Pacers with 15 points and a really productive game. He was a nice boost during the big comeback tonight when G. Hill wasn’t really at his best.
C.J. Miles, SG 24 MIN | 1-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | +4 +/-CJ Miles didn’t offer much tonight after his awesome shooting performance against the Cavs. He was not nearly as aggressive tonight and when he did decide to pull the trigger, it was mostly rushed shots that clanked off the rim.
Luis Scola, PF 26 MIN | 6-11 FG | 3-4 FT | 14 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 15 PTS | +9 +/-Scola played a pivotal role in the big comeback in the third quarter. Luis showed up ready to play. He was active in the offence, aggressive on the glass and shot the ball really well tonight. Tally up another double-double for my man Luis.
Shayne Whittington, PF 9 MIN | 2-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | +8 +/-Is Shayne in the rotation now? I didn’t really see him do much. It’s good to know he can hold his own though.
Damjan Rudez, SF 15 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 3 PTS | +3 +/-Rudez played some pretty pedestrian ball tonight. Nothing too great, but nothing that made me say, “Why the hell is he on the court?”
Solomon Hill, SF 24 MIN | 3-8 FG | 3-3 FT | 4 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 9 PTS | -5 +/-Solomon Hill has been playing well as of late. His play has been trending upward as he turns more and more into the type of player the Indiana Pacers organization imagined he’d be. Tonight, Solo wasn’t at his best but he contributed in a positive way. There have been games that I couldn’t honestly say that about him.
C.J. Watson, PG 25 MIN | 7-11 FG | 3-4 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 22 PTS | +14 +/-Watson redeemed himself for his incredibly poor performance against Charlotte on 1/17. In that OT loss, he was pretty much nonexistent. Tonight, he made his mark on the game and finished as the Pacers leading scorer. Gotta love with CJ is “on.”
Frank Vogel
You can say anything you want about Frank but he keeps the guys focused, no matter how large the deficit is. He was just as instrumental in this win as any one of the players on the court and I commend him for that. The Pacers love Frank and it’s great to see their trust in him pay off.