Post-Game Grades: Indiana Pacers Out of Luck, Fall to Boston Celtics

Indiana Pacers
Indiana Pacers /

99. 100. Final. 105. 18

The Indiana Pacers kept things close, but couldn’t close the deal without Paul George, who sat with an ankle injury.

The Good: The defense was much improved. Without their best defensive player, the Pacers defended well all night. The Celtics only shot 44-percent from the field and were forced to settle for many contested mid-range jump shots.

Jeff Teague (with some help from Myles Turner) harassed Isaiah Thomas all night, holding him to 4 of 13 from the field. Unfortunately, the Pacers couldn’t keep Thomas or the rest of the Celtics off the foul line.

The Bad: The shooting. Also the fouling. But the shooting, mostly. The Pacers probably played well enough to win against the Celtics (who were also short-handed), but their 42-percent shooting performance doomed their prospects. Indiana was especially poor from downtown, shooting 6 of 27 from long range.

Even an average shooting performance from one of their wings probably would have made the difference tonight.

MVP: Myles Turner was the best player on the floor tonight, and finished with 17 points on 75-percent shooting. He defended the rim well, especially down the stretch, and was Indiana’s go-to guy in the closing minutes.

Coach Nate McMillan probably left him on the bench a little too long in the fourth quarter, and the Pacers weren’t able to complete the comeback.

LVP: C. J. Miles was having a decent night, but he picked up four fouls in a three-minute span to start the third quarter. The Pacers desperately needed his shooting without Paul George, and his absence sealed their fate.

X-Factor: James Young inexplicably scored 12 points in 16 minutes.

INC. DNP – Ankle. Small Forward. Indiana Pacers. PAUL GEORGE

Ellis was fine for most of the night, but he killed the Pacers down the stretch. After getting beaten back door, he missed a crucial free throw, and threw away a careless turnover which all but doomed Indiana’s chances. Shooting Guard. Indiana Pacers. MONTA ELLIS. C-

B-. Teague had 20 points on got to the free throw line, but he wasn’t very good.. Point Guard. Indiana Pacers. JEFF TEAGUE

A. Turner was the best player on the floor tonight, and one has to wonder why he wasn’t more prominently featured in Indiana’s game plan. On one late possession, Amir Johnson reached and then shoved Myles Turner with both hands, but still couldn’t stop the youngster. McMillan probably needs to trust Turner with more minutes, especially when he isn’t in foul trouble.. Center. Indiana Pacers. MYLES TURNER

C. 10 points, 8 rebounds, and lots of “meh.”. Power Forward. Indiana Pacers. THADDEUS YOUNG

Miles didn’t play terribly, but a horrible 3-minute stretch to start the second half kept him from being able to contribute more.. Shooting Guard. Indiana Pacers. C.J. MILES. C

B. Big Al looked washed up in the first half, but he was tremendous in the third quarter, and put the team on his ample back for about four minutes.. Center. Indiana Pacers. AL JEFFERSON

Power Forward. Indiana Pacers. LAVOY ALLEN. C. 26 minutes, 2 points, and good defense. He is what he is.

Indiana Pacers. AARON BROOKS. C. Brooks had a nifty little move near the end of the third quarter to tie the game on a beautiful left-handed reverse layup. Unfortunately, Marcus Smart lit him up in the second half as Brooks was helpless to defend the bigger, stronger player.. Point Guard

Club Trillion!. Point Guard. Indiana Pacers. JOE YOUNG. C

B-. The Little Dog played 26 minutes tonight, and didn’t hurt the Pacers chances. He filled up the stat sheet, and even knocked down a big 3-pointer in the second half.. Small Forward. Indiana Pacers. GLENN ROBINSON III