Post-Game Grades: Indiana Pacers can’t keep up with the Portland Trail Blazers


With Myles Turner out of the lineup, the Portland Trail Blazers exposed the weaknesses of the Indiana Pacers.

114. 34. 96. 100. Final

The Indiana Pacers went hunting for a win but came back to their wagon with nothing to show for their efforts. The Pacers ended up dying from exhaustion as the Portland Trail Blazers were simply better equipt to both run and gun and stop the Indiana from doing the same.

It was a doomed journey as trying to pick up a win against the Trail Blazers without Myles Turner was as likely as fording a 20-foot deep river successfully.

A Turner-less Indiana Pacers team isn’t a very good team, it turns out. The face of the franchise is recovering from a concussion while the rest of the Pacers were exposed as the poor defenders we expected them to be. Myles can’t fix all of Indiana’s problems, but he’s one of the NBA’s better rim defenders. Having someone like him stopping up drives and blocking shots can make his teammates’ defensive mistakes less damaging.

Indiana hits the trail to Miami now for Saturday’s game against the Heat.

The Good: T.J. Leaf can shoot! We knew that already, but dropping 17 points on 7 of 11 shooting in an actual NBA game means something, right?

More from 8 Points, 9 Seconds

The Bad: The defense… the defense was an abomination. The spirit of Frank Vogel is not haunting this team as they allowed the Trail Blazers to shoot 48.9% from the floor and 47.4% from deep.

Much of this was expected, but when you mix the bad defense in with Indiana shooting 44.9% from the floor and an abysmal 4 of 18 from deep, the Pacers simply can’t survive.

MVP: Herb Simon let Pacers fans know the team isn’t going anywhere on his watch.

LVP: Victor Oladipo wasn’t expected to carry Indiana to victory by himself, but shooting 29.4% on Friday night made sure there was a zero percent chance of success.

X-Factor: An angry C.J. McCollum came out of his one-game suspension to score 28 points and grab 7 rebounds.

D. A bad offensive night (5of 17 shooting, 0 of 3 from deep) overall, but 6 rebounds and 2 assists aren’t so bad. Let me add this: Getting to the line 9 times (made 7) was great. That’s what his aggressiveness can do.. SG. Indiana Pacers. VICTOR OLADIPO

Indiana Pacers. THADDEUS YOUNG. C. A quiet 8 points and 7 rebounds.. PF

1 of 5 shooting didn’t help Indiana, but at least he had 2 rebounds and 2 assists on the night.. SG. Indiana Pacers. LANCE STEPHENSON. C

C. 4 of 9 shooting is good. Turnstile defense is bad.. SF. Indiana Pacers. BOJAN BOGDANOVIC

C+. 14 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists on the night while shooting 5 of 9. But once again, defense is a weakness that makes anything other than an average grade too kind.. PG. Indiana Pacers. DARREN COLLISON

PF/C. Indiana Pacers. DOMANTAS SABONIS. D. Only 3 points off of 1 of 5 shooting tell me he isn’t quite ready for a starting role on this team. 8 rebounds make me think I’m wrong about that.

C. 2 points and an assist. SF. Indiana Pacers. DAMIEN WILKINS

D. 3 of 4 on free throws can’t salvage a 1 of 5 shooting night. So far CoJo is unimpressive as a Pacer. PG. Indiana Pacers. CORY JOSEPH

PF. Indiana Pacers. TJ LEAF. B. For now, I can live with his lack of defense when he scores 17 points on 7of 11 shooting. His 2 of 3 from distance are a good sign that the 3-point line in the NBA isn’t an obstacle for his long-range shooting we saw in college.

C. This season there will be a lot of Al Jefferson jokes, but a 4 of 6 night was good enough for 8 points. There are still questions as to why he’s getting time over younger players who need to develop, but tonight he did his job.. C. Indiana Pacers. AL JEFFERSON

Indiana Pacers. ALEX POYTHRESS. C+. Garbage time, but came away with a point and a rebound.. SF

Indiana Pacers. JOE YOUNG. C. 5 points in garbage time.. PG