Indiana Pacers struggle early before overwhelming the Hawks in Atlanta


The Indiana Pacers came out slow yet again, but handled their business against the moribund Atlanta Hawks as Myles Turner and Bojan Bogdanovic attempted to atone for their loss to the Celtics.

105. 100. Final. 95. 125

The Pacers came out slow in Atlanta, starting the game down 18-9. They cruised their way to a deceptively comfortable looking win from there, despite never really looking *good* until the 4th quarter.

All the hallmarks of Pacers wins this season were there: 20+ points from Oladipo, a slow start followed by a gradual takeover, and 6 guys in double figures. That said, aside from a late takeover, the Pacers mostly seemed disinterested or sluggish throughout.

Oladipo did his thing as the high man for the Pacers, but the much more important element of this game was seeing Myles Turner and Bojan Bogdanovic come out aggressively. After the Celtics loss which saw Myles struggle brutally (2 points) and Bojan throw the game away, both came out aggressively, looked for their shot early, and showed no lack of confidence. It didn’t hurt that both of them got buckets, either.

More from 8 Points, 9 Seconds

The Good: 94.7% from the line. Any time you can get almost 20 attempts is a positive, but especially when you shoot em that well.

The Bad: That start. Yet again, the Pacers dug themselves an early hole, allowing a parade of dunks by one of the Plumlees.

MVP: Victor Oladipo. Nothing insane like we’ve seen so often this year, but 23 points on 15 shots will do that for you.

LVP: Thad Young. Didn’t play a bad game; he did some things that don’t show up in the box score. However, 4 points – 8 rebounds is not a great night from a guy the Pacers are accustomed to getting more out of.

X-Factor: Ball movement. There were multiple possessions where the Pacers had beautiful ball movement, and a few passes that made you just say “WOW” (that Myles Turner skip pass to Bojan Bogdanovic in the corner was one I didn’t know he had in his arsenal).

A. 20 points, 6 rebounds, 3 blocks. Got to the line 7 times, attacked with a ferocity we’ve not seen much this year.. C. Indiana Pacers. MYLES TURNER

VICTOR OLADIPO. A. Ho-hum 23-5. Shot 53% from the field, 60% from deep, 80% from the line.. SG. Indiana Pacers

C. Hit the glass (8 rebounds), but couldn’t get anything going on offense outside of a couple of tip ins. Pacers went to him in the first possession of each half, and both of them were, uh, not great Bob.. PF. Indiana Pacers. THADDEUS YOUNG

BOJAN BOGDANOVIC. B+. Today, redemption is spelled B-O-G-D-A… I don’t know, there are a lot of letters. It was great to see Bojan light it up from the field. He said after the game that the team had helped keep him positive throughout the last couple of sleepless nights since the Celtics. 19 points on 14 shots should help that sleep a little. SF. Indiana Pacers

DARREN COLLISON. B-. 11 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist. Didn’t do much, but hit a couple of midrangers when the Pacers needed buckets.. PG. Indiana Pacers

B. 4 points, 4 rebounds, team high +16. Didn’t seem to do much when he was in the game, but the Pacers certainly flowed when he was out there.. PF/C. Indiana Pacers. DOMANTAS SABONIS

Indiana Pacers. LANCE STEPHENSON. A. 10 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists. Had a couple of “WOW!” passes for layups, and one “ugh, wow” pass that went all the way back under the Hawks basket. This is the Lance the Pacers were hoping for.. SG

Indiana Pacers. CORY JOSEPH. B. 11 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 dose of opposition frustrating defense. If he ever nails down that floater game, he immediately becomes much more dangerous on offense.. PG

C+. Got 13 minutes against the Hawks. His only bucket gave the Pacers their first double digit lead, but he did little else. He was the only rotation player to finish with a negative +/- at -4.. PG. Indiana Pacers. JOE YOUNG

Next: Victor Oladipo to All Stars or we riot

The Pacers face the Brooklyn Nets next at 7:00 PM on Saturday, 12/23.