Indiana Pacers fall flat, lose to Wizards 111-102


Pacers fall flat without their starting backcourt, lose 111-102 to the visiting Washington Wizards.

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The blue and gold came out lifeless against Washington, and never looked like they were in the running to walk out of this game with a W. Without Victor Oladipo and Darren Collison, the coaching staff was forced to start defensive minded Cory Joseph and streaky Lance Stephenson.

111. 142. 102. 100. Final

Minus the two players that typically spur the Pacers offense forward, tonight was a time they needed Myles Turner to shine, and he responded with a resounding thud. Turner sat most of the game due to foul trouble and injuries, leaving the guys without their best offensive hubs for most of the game.

Standout performances from Joey Buckets and Bojan Bogdanovic kept the crippled group afloat, but it was pretty clear it wasn’t going to be enough. While they got the lead to single digits a few times, Indiana was never able to seize any measure of control of the game from the Wizards, and eventually ran out of gas trying to play catchup.

The Good: The Bench. Nate McMillan played only 3 guys off the bench in the 2nd half, and all of Joe Young, Al Jefferson, and Domas Sabonis delivered in spades.

The Bad: The starters outside of Bojan. Myles Turner, Thad Young, Lance Stephenson, and Cory Joseph all played an awful game.

MVP: Bojan. Season-high 29 points, including a buzzer beater and a 4 point play. Went 5-7 from deep, and one of those misses was a perfect soft airball into Thad Young’s hands.

LVP: Myles Turner. Yuck. 6 points, 5 rebounds, 5 fouls in 23 minutes. Got punked by Marcin Gortat, Tomas Satoransky, and Ian Mahinmi at various times.

X-Factor: Turnovers. Washington scored 30 points off the squads 15 turnovers and won comfortably based off that margin.

A+. One of the few reasons the Pacers kept the game within striking distance. Elon Musk redesigned his personal flamethrower after watching Bogey get buckets. Attacked the basket with assertiveness (yes, we’re talking about Bojan Bogdanovic) and lit it up from 3. Had a buzzer beating trey and then followed shortly after with a 4 point play. Jodie Meeks got some looks against him, but Bojan just isn’t fast enough to do anything there.. SF. Indiana Pacers. BOJAN BOGDANOVIC

PF. Indiana Pacers. THADDEUS YOUNG. D. Wildly uninspiring performance until a few plays in the 4th took it from “Cover your eyes bad” to “run of the mill bad”

C. Indiana Pacers. MYLES TURNER. F-. Truly, truly awful. The only reason he didn’t have a team worst +/- is because foul trouble kept him out of the game so long

F. Bad Lance was in full effect tonight. 1-7 from 3, 4-14 overall, and had 6 of the Pacers 15 turnovers. He’d shined in starting for Oladipo previously, but the lack of Darren Collison as well seemed to have a huge effect on him. SG. Indiana Pacers. LANCE STEPHENSON

PG. Indiana Pacers. CORY JOSEPH. F. 7 points and 4 assists on 2-7 shooting, tied for a team worst -14. Not, uh, not great Bob

DOMANTAS SABONIS. B. 15 points, 4 rebounds, 7-12 from the field. Would’ve liked to see him hit the glass more, but a good game overall for Sabonis. He did continue the trend of Pacers power forwards not being able to cover Mike Scott, unfortunately. C. Indiana Pacers

8 points and 3 assists in 16 minutes; was 1 of only 2 Pacers who finished with a positive +/-, along with Domas Sabonis. C. Indiana Pacers. AL JEFFERSON. B

A+. This was almost certainly the best game of Joe Young’s career. Young had 17 points in 28 minutes; he was 6-10 from the field including 5-8 from deep, and kept the Pacers in striking distance for a bit. Should’ve played more in the 4th quarter than he did. PG. Indiana Pacers. JOE YOUNG

C-. Took T.J. Leaf’s “play a few minutes in the first half, then never leave the bench again” role. 6 minutes, 2 fouls, and a rebound.. F. Indiana Pacers. BEN MOORE

Next: To trade or not to trade

Indiana next matches up against the Pelicans on 2/7 at 8 PM.