Post-game grades: Pacers beat Maccabi Haifa 108-89


In the final game of the preseason, the Indiana Pacers got the job done against Maccabi Haifa, winning 108-89.

This one wasn’t always pretty. The Pacers headed to Bankers Life to wrap up the preseason Tuesday night, defeating Maccabi Haifa of the Israeli league 109-89.

Essentially, it was what you would expect from an NBA team facing off against a non-NBA team. Except for a briefly scary period where the lead fell to only four points, the Pacers were in control from start to finish, and it wasn’t exactly because of their stellar play.

The projected opening night starting lineup kicked things off, as Nate McMillan used his final opportunity to roughly simulate a regular season rotation. Bojan Bogdanovic, however, was the only Pacer to play more than 30 minutes tonight.

The Good: The Pacers won another meaningless game, this one even more meaningless because of the absence of an NBA opponent. Honestly, there wasn’t much else worth mentioning. As you can imagine, things got pretty sloppy at times, and the squad didn’t exactly look like they were rounding into regular season form. That being said, I wouldn’t have tried that hard if I were them either.

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The Bad: Too many fouls, too many turnovers and too much playing down to the competition. There’s little reason to believe that this was anything other than guys being a little checked out in a game that doesn’t matter, so hopefully this isn’t a problem that extends into the regular season. If the Pacers have any delusions about being competitive, they need to win games against clearly worse teams, and it won’t be this easy against real NBA rosters.

MVP: Victor Oladipo takes the award with 18 points and an almost perfect mark from downtown. The pride of IU shot 4-for-5 from 3-point range and made it to the free throw line a decent amount as well.

LVP: Bojan Bogdanovic had kind of the reverse type of game, taking six attempts from long range and making only one of them. If he’s not making it rain from downtown, he’s really not doing anything for his team other than spacing the floor a bit. Let’s hope it was just an off night.

X-Factor: Domantas Sabonis continued to develop into a fan favorite, putting up a double-double and notching two assists as well.

C. Indiana Pacers. MYLES TURNER. C+. Turner got to the line a good amount, but overall, he played below his station. 12 points on 2-for-6 shooting isn’t “best player on the team” production, and four fouls doesn’t help.

Oladipo gets the A for his sterling shooting and his four assists. He would have racked up a few more too if it weren’t for some unlucky misses on wide open looks.. SG. Indiana Pacers. VICTOR OLADIPO. A

A-. Thad was Mr. Dependable yet again, putting up a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds. Nate McMillan fed him the ball in the post a lot more than I’d like down the stretch, but that’s likely just preseason tomfoolery.. PF. Indiana Pacers. THADDEUS YOUNG

LANCE STEPHENSON. B. Born Ready made it to double figures just barely with 10 points, but otherwise had a fairly unremarkable game. That said, #LanceSaboPNR until I die.. SG. Indiana Pacers

Indiana Pacers. BOJAN BOGDANOVIC. D. Basically, see above. If the 3 isn’t falling for Bogdanovic, his weaknesses are just that much more noticeable.. SF

B+. Collison was the second-leading scorer on the night with 15 points. Once the games matter, I’ll want to see him do more than just pull up for easy buckets.. PG. Indiana Pacers. DARREN COLLISON

A-. Sabonis was +26 for the night, which is an absurd number. That and the double-double get him close to A territory, but five fouls keeps him just shy.. PF/C. Indiana Pacers. DOMANTAS SABONIS

Indiana Pacers. DAMIEN WILKINS. B. The 37-year-old played only five minutes but still managed to go 1-for-2 from long range. Expect him to be the backup small forward going into the season.. SF

PG. Indiana Pacers. CORY JOSEPH. C+. Joseph shot 0-for-3 from the field, but he avoided going scoreless by nabbing three points at the foul line. Not the best showing, but five assists keeps things respectable.

B. After his fourth-quarter heroics earlier in the preseason, Leaf turned in a decent, forgettable performance with seven points on 3-for-7 shooting. PF. Indiana Pacers. TJ LEAF

DNP-SMBPG (Sabonis might be pretty good). C. Indiana Pacers. AL JEFFERSON. I

ALEX POYTHRESS. I. Poythress couldn’t get any minutes either thanks to Wilkins and Ben Moore.. SF. Indiana Pacers

B+. Four points off of a free throw and a 3-pointer is about all you can ask from Young at this point.. PG. Indiana Pacers. JOE YOUNG