Post-Game Grades: Indiana Pacers run out of gas against Detroit Pistons


The Indiana Pacers are now losers of their last four games, but at least tonight’s loss to the Detroit Pistons didn’t feature a blown fourth-quarter lead.

Final. 114. 64. 97. 100

This is the Indiana Pacers team we expected, unfortunately.

There were moments of brilliance and glimmers of him in their loss to the Detroit Pistons but ultimately we were reminded of the team’s weaknesses more than their strengths.

One of those weaknesses was in the paint as the Pistons scored 54 points there. Myles Turner can defend the rim but he needs his teammates to stop opponents from getting there. Roughly 20 of Detroit’s points came from outside of the restricted area of the paint.

For a fourth straight game we’ve seen Indiana struggle offensively when they don’t get the ball moving in transition, so tonight’s result isn’t a surprise considering those factors.

It didn’t help Andre Drummond scored 14 points and grabbed 21 rebounds. The Pacers lose the rebound battle by 12. Tobias Harris led all scorers with 23 points.

It’s easy to blame this on it being the second game of a back-to-back, but that was hardly the biggest issue for Indiana.

The Good: The Pacers didn’t break our hearts by blowing a fourth-quarter lead. Indiana came close to taking the lead back late but each time the Pistons unleashed a flurry of points to give them breathing room.

More from 8 Points, 9 Seconds

The Bad: It’s a simple formula for disaster for the Pacers: When opponents score in the paint, the Pacers don’t get rebounds. When they don’t get rebounds, they don’t get out in transition. When they don’t get out in transition, their offense struggles to challenge the defense.

And when all that happens, they lose.

MVP: Al Jefferson scored 19 points on 7 of 10 shooting, which is a sentence I wasn’t expecting to type tonight. Jefferson looked younger and leaner than we’ve seen him in a Pacers uniform as evidenced by a pair of dunks by Moderately Sized Al.

LVP: Unfortunately, Victor Oladipo earns this dubious honor tonight as he shot 8 of 21 from the field for 21 points. He struggled to get to the foul line (2 of 4 from there) while his 6 turnovers nearly outpaced his 3 rebounds, 2 assists, steal, and block.

X-Factor: Cory Joseph’s 11 points and 6 assists were one of the few bright spots for Indiana.

C. Only 8 points and 6 rebounds while Al Jefferson stole the show. His 4 of 8 shooting on the night can be considered a positive, but Turner should be taking more shots than that.. C. Indiana Pacers. MYLES TURNER

D+. Bad offense and sub-optimal defense pulled Victor Oladipo closer back to Earth after his impressive start to the season.. SG. Indiana Pacers. VICTOR OLADIPO

Indiana Pacers. THADDEUS YOUNG. C-. His 16 points (including a pair of 3-pointers) and 6 rebounds cover up the fact he looked lost defensively at times or was lacking in effort. Young is usually nothing but a positive for the Pacers but on Wednesday that wasn’t the case.. PF

B-. Lance had an OK night with 3 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and a pair of steals.. SG. Indiana Pacers. LANCE STEPHENSON

C+. Normally a 40% night from Bojan qualifies as bad, especially since he went 1 of 5 from deep. But Bogdanovic was aggressive attacking the basket and grabbed 7 rebounds.. SF. Indiana Pacers. BOJAN BOGDANOVIC

DARREN COLLISON. C-. He had as many assists (3) as made baskets (3 of 10) after I wrote kindly about him today. Thanks a lot, Darren.. PG. Indiana Pacers

B. 8 points and 6 assists.. PG. Indiana Pacers. CORY JOSEPH

PF. Indiana Pacers. TJ LEAF. C-. Missed his only shot and grabbed a rebound.

AL JEFFERSON. A. This was peak Al Jefferson.. C. Indiana Pacers