Post-Game Grades: Monta Ellis Exacts Revenge on Mavericks

Indiana Pacers
Indiana Pacers /

79. 107. 100. Final. 81

Monta Ellis exacts revenge on former team, helps Pacers dispatch the poor shooting Mavericks.

The Good: Indiana’s offensive balance. The Pacers had five players score in double figures, including 20, 19, and 19 from CJ Miles, Monta Ellis, and Paul George. Despite a few cringe-worthy shot attempts from Paul George, the offense was humming most of the night as the Pacers were able to create open shots on the perimeter and good shots inside. I wish there was a way to calculate the field goal percentage on shots that come off of good offensive ball movement. Anyone that has ever played basketball understands that each offensive set has a certain type of momentum, and open shots created off of good ball movement tend to go in more than regular open shots. The Pacers had a lot of said shots tonight, and they made them count.

The Bad: The Pacers didn’t play poorly in the first half, but they sure shot poorly, especially in the first quarter. Despite leading 20-19 after one, the Pacers only shot 28% in the quarter. Fortunately for the Pacers, the Mavericks shot worse for nearly the entire game. The Pacers have played some pretty decent defense over the last week or so, and you might be tempted to think that was the case tonight as they held the Mavericks to only 81 points, but Dallas had its chances to get back into the game, especially early in the fourth quarter. Fortunately for the Pacers, Dirk Nowitzki inexplicably turned into a mortal human being in Indianapolis, allowing the Pacers to run away with the game.

MVP: Monta Ellis was nearly invisible in the first half, but he came out in the second half and really drove the nail into his former team’s coffin. Ellis was all over the court on offense, knifing into the lane, finding teammates, and hitting open corner jump shots. As good as Monta was, the entire Pacers’ offense deserves even more credit. During the key stretch in the third quarter, Indiana got great look after great look by playing intentional, unselfish basketball.

LVP: I will never criticize Dirk Nowitzki’s jump shot. It seems to break every rule that is meaningful in my life in general. So, I’m not going to criticize Dirk’s jumper in this section. That would be irresponsible.

X-Factor: Intangibles. It may be vague and cliche to simply say, “The Pacers tried really hard.” I generally hate that stuff because NBA players work much harder on a nightly basis than most people realize. Still, every Pacer gave a good effort on both ends of the floor, and for the most part, each guy even accepted the officiating and stayed mentally focused on the important things. At one point, Jordan Hill worked really hard to get an offensive rebound but picked up a foul in the process. He immediately passed the ball to the official and ran back on defense. Anyone that has watched the Pacers over the last three years realizes just how out of the ordinary that type of play is. But little things like that truly make a difference from night to night.

PAUL GEORGE. B+. <p>George took some careless shots, seemed to drift in and out of the game in the first half, and was a little lazy at times defensively. Still, he was the best player on the floor during the stretches where he “turned it on” this evening, and his 11 3rd quarter points helped to blow the game open for the Pacers.</p>. Power Forward. Indiana Pacers

A. <p>Ellis played well against his former team, especially in the second half when he scored all 19 of his points. He submitted good effort on both ends and made several jumpers in front of the Dallas bench which I’m sure was nice for him.</p><p><span style=. Shooting Guard. Indiana Pacers. MONTA ELLIS

Point Guard. Indiana Pacers. GEORGE HILL. B. <p>11 points and 3 assists for Hill. He didn’t take anything off the table tonight, but didn’t really assert himself into the game that much.</p>

Indiana Pacers. C.J. MILES. A. <p>Kevin Pelton said that C.J. is probably the best shooter in the NBA that routinely finds himself wide open. That may be. Thanks, opposing defenses. Miles has made teams pay all year, and that continued tonight.</p>. Shooting Guard

B-. <p>Did a lot of little things, wasn’t needed very much.</p>. Center. Indiana Pacers. IAN MAHINMI

B+. <p>Stuckey had several big buckets in the late 3rd and early 4th quarters that helped to stop possible Mavericks runs. He also attacked the basket and started several good offensive sets by getting into the lane.</p>. Point Guard. Indiana Pacers. RODNEY STUCKEY

Center. Indiana Pacers. JORDAN HILL. A. <p>This dude plays hard, unselfishly, and intelligently. Things we never thought we would say in October.</p>

SOLOMON HILL. INC. <p>Garbage Time</p>. Small Forward. Indiana Pacers

Power Forward. Indiana Pacers. LAVOY ALLEN. B+. <p>Tweaked his ankle, but was +16 in 18 minutes of action because, well, we never know. But Lavoy continued doing Lavoy things for the successful Pacers.</p>

D. <p>He was pretty bad, and some of his shots in the second half were worse.</p>. Small Forward. Indiana Pacers. CHASE BUDINGER

B. <p>Very Mighty in 3 garbage minutes.</p>. Point Guard. Indiana Pacers. JOE YOUNG

INC. . Small Forward. Indiana Pacers. GLENN ROBINSON

Garbage Time