Post-Game Grades: Pacers literally give game away to Celtics


The Indiana Pacers drop one to Celtics in a wacky, dispiriting finish

112. 18. 111. 100. Final

Welp. Let’s get into it. The Indiana Pacers reluctantly welcomed the Boston Celtics to the Fieldhouse Monday night for their second meeting of the young season. Nate McMillan and co. hoped to avenge November’s 10-point loss to the Celtics, who are currently sitting proudly at the top spot in the East despite going just 3-3 in their last six games after a hot start to the season.

Last time these two teams met, the Pacers were without Victor Oladipo and they played an atrocious second half after leading by as many as 13 points. So, even though the guys played just last night in Brooklyn, maybe this one wasn’t necessarily going to be your classic NBA Schedule Loss.

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Boston came out blazing with a 12-0 start, finishing the first quarter shooting 68%. Sure looked like a schedule loss from that vantage point. But the Pacers kept playing.

Throughout much of the second half, the Pacers made a handful of runs, bringing it to within five points several times, but never closer than that. Each time the Celts were ready with an answer. Frustrating, sure, but it was nice to see these Pacers refuse to give up.

The Pacers continued fighting. Typical late game Dipo heroics gave the Pacers the lead for the first time all night. They were even up by five at one point! It was amazing, I swear! The game was in the bag for the Pacers! All they needed to do was get stops, make their free throws, and take care of the ball…

Well, they made their free throws. Kyrie hit two three-pointers to make things just scary enough, bringing it to within one. All the team had to do was inbound the ball, take the foul and sink the free-throws.

But, um, this happened instead.

*long, loud fart noise*

That was a tough L to swallow.

The Good: This CoJoe block.


MVP: Jayson Tatum’s leaping ability.

Good effort, Domas.

LVP: Was gonna give LVP to a largely ineffective Myles. BUT THEN BOJAN MADE AN UNNECESSARILY HIGH-ARCED, EASILY INTERCEPTED PASS. So I’ll give the LVP to Bojan.

X-Factor: Marcus Smart, who’s shooting 32% from deep this season, went 4 of 4 from behind the arc tonight. That’ll give the Celtics a win any night.

DARREN COLLISON. C+. DC played just 24 minutes, but knocked down a couple treys, scored 15, and didn’t throw a critically stupid pass. PG. Indiana Pacers

A+. Dipo balled out, yet again. 38 points. Three steals. 10 for 13 from the charity stripe. He oughtta be the hero yet again BUT THEN BOJAN WHY BOJAN WHY!!! Bojan owes Dipo an apology, and Dipo shouldn’t accept it. SG. Indiana Pacers. VICTOR OLADIPO

SF. Indiana Pacers. BOJAN BOGDANOVIC. F. *longer, louder fart noise* F for Fart

Indiana Pacers. THADDEUS YOUNG. B-. Thad did his Thad thing. 13 points, seven boards. Most importantly, he did not commit a disastrous turnover. PF

MYLES TURNER. D. Myles had a rough night. Two points, four rebounds in 27 minutes, as he rode the bench for the game’s final minutes. Though, one might suspect Myles wouldn’t have made a bonehead pass in the game’s final seconds or anything.. C. Indiana Pacers

B-. Domas’ pops was in the Fieldhouse tonight as the kid went for 18 points and seven boards (four of them offensive), finishing with a team high +12. BUT his four turnovers hurt, and his defensive lapses late allowed the Celtics to keep it just close enough for Bojan to give it away.. C. Indiana Pacers. DOMANTAS SABONIS

SG. Indiana Pacers. LANCE STEPHENSON. C+. Some good, some bad, All Lance. He finished with 11 points, five boards (two HUGE ones on the O-glass), and three dimes. A few unnecessary fouls, but still, HE DIDN’T PASS THE BALL TO ANY CELTICS

C. CoJoe put in a solid game, scoring just four points, but dishing three dimes. Plus he swatted TWO shots! Missed both of his threes and turned it over twice, BUT SOME TURNOVERS ARE WORSE THAN OTHERS. PG. Indiana Pacers. CORY JOSEPH

C. Indiana Pacers. AL JEFFERSON. C. Yes, he played! Big Al was a -3 in his four minutes, but got a steal. Also, he was unable to throw the ball away at the end of the game, as he was on the bench.

JOE YOUNG. C. Joe Young played five minutes, didn’t break the hearts of Pacers fans, missed one shot, and still finished +2. How about that!. PG. Indiana Pacers

Next: Point guard Mondays: Darren Collison

Next up, the guys get a day off before taking on the Hawks in Atlanta on Wednesday with a 7:30 ET tipoff.