Grades: Indiana Pacers get mauled by Memphis Grizzlies


The Indiana Pacers traveled to Memphis for a hard fought game with the Grizzlies.

The Indiana Pacers battled hard and found themselves in overtime in game two of the preseason. The result ended up being disappointing:

The Pacers were up three with just a few moments to go, but Yuta Watanabe banked in a three with just a few seconds left to send it to overtime. Indiana kept it close in the OT period but they weren’t able to get it done.

The starters sat out for both teams in this one as both organizations were trying to preserve health and strategy. These two team play on opening night in Indiana, so neither team wanted to show off their game plan.

The Good: We were able to see quite a few players make their Pacer debuts in this one. Tyreke Evans, Kyle O’Quinn, Alize Johnson, Elijah Stewart, and Omari Johnson all put on the blue and gold for the first time. All of them looked relatively comfortable on the court despite it being their inaugural time playing with the team, which is encouraging.

Also, Domantas Sabonis was fantastic. More on him later.

The Bad: 25 turnovers. That was what sunk the team. Aaron Holiday coughed it up eight times alone, and most of the guys who frequently had the ball in their hands had double-digit turnovers. It was rough.

MVP: Domantas Sabonis, easily. He nearly had a double-double after just one quarter, and he finished the game with 17 points and 14 rebounds in just 21 minutes. He was swallowing up every rebound, masterminding beautiful pick-and-rolls, and hitting shots in the posts. He was outstanding.

LVP: Another stinker for Doug McDermott. He finally lost his Pacers 3-card by knocking one down in the third quarter, but he struggled to get anything going on either end of the court. His lack of movement on offense has been disheartening. Hopefully, he can get in more of a groove in the regular season.

X-Factor: Yuta Watanabe. He was excellent down the stretch in this one and hit clutch shot after clutch shot to secure the Grizzlies win.

Grades time.

N/A. Did not play – strategy reasons. PG. Indiana Pacers. DARREN COLLISON

N/A. Vic didn’t play and the Pacers lost. It sounds like last season all over again.. SG. Indiana Pacers. VICTOR OLADIPO

N/A. Did not play – strategy reasons. SF. Indiana Pacers. BOJAN BOGDANOVIC

Indiana Pacers. THADDEUS YOUNG. N/A. Thad wouldn’t have played even if he was healthy, but we still haven’t seen him this season which is a bummer.. PF

N/A. Did not play – strategy reasons. Also, Myles was hyped on the bench all night long, which was fun to observe.. C. Indiana Pacers. MYLES TURNER

A -. Four fouls again for Sabonis, but like the first preseason game, he was excellent otherwise. Even when his shots didn’t fall, he would grab his own rebound and put it right back up. He was superb at all of the things he is normally asked to do.. C. Indiana Pacers. DOMANTAS SABONIS

Indiana Pacers. TYREKE EVANS. B -. Welcome to the team! Evans struggled shooting in his Pacer debut, going 3/11 for 12 points. He added 6 rebounds and 3 assists, so he was useful overall. He should be more effective when he is able to be mixed and matched with some starters.. SG

B. 8/2/6 with only one turnover. CoJo gonna CoJo.. PG. Indiana Pacers. CORY JOSEPH

Indiana Pacers. DOUG MCDERMOTT. D +. McD just hasn’t looked like a good fit in Indiana through two games. He isn’t getting as good of looks as one would like. But he finally nailed a three in this one, maybe he is getting more comfortable.. SF

B. O’Quinn was a team-high +8 in his Pacer debut. He looked great passing from the elbow, the exact skill he is known for. When more of his shots are falling, he’s going to be an incredibly effective player.. C. Indiana Pacers. KYLE O'QUINN

C +. Leaf continues his surprising preseason. He shot 4/7 and added five rebounds in this game, and he once again showed he has more skills than just shooting on offense. The defense still has a ways to go, though.. PF. Indiana Pacers. TJ LEAF

PG. Indiana Pacers. AARON HOLIDAY. B -. Aaron Holiday had a team-high 20 points, which is great. He also had a team-high 8 turnovers which is really rough. The rookie will go through growing pains like this, so get used to a few games like this during the coming season.<p>He also had two nasty chase-down blocks in the fourth quarter. He looked electric, he just needs to clean up the turnovers.</p>

Indiana Pacers. IKE ANIGBOGU. D. Ike struggled to protect the rim, which is supposed to be one of his hallmark skills. He had three fouls on consecutive possessions right after checking in. He also failed to make contact on just about every screen he executed. He has a long way to go.. C

B -. Johnson’s motor was on display in this one, as he pulled down 9 rebounds in just 18 minutes. He shot at least three of these weird running hook shots, but they go in so it’s hard to really complain. They just look funny. Regardless, a solid first showing from the rookie.. PF. Indiana Pacers. ALIZE JOHNSON

EDMOND SUMNER. :(. After an incredible first game, Sumner tweaked his ankle in the second quarter of this one and only amassed 12 minutes of playing time. Hopefully, it is nothing serious.<p>Before that, he had six points and two monster dunks. He was nearly as effective as he was in the first preseason game.</p>. PG. Indiana Pacers

Moore played 25 minutes, which is almost hard to believe because he stayed out of the spotlight for the entirety of the game. His defense was good and he pulled in six boards, but the shot wasn’t falling for him in this one and he only connected on one of his three looks.. SF. Indiana Pacers. BEN MOORE. C +

D +. Omari Johnson made his Pacers debut in this one and missed all five of his shots. Five rebounds kept him from being useless but missing both of his three-pointers was hard to see since he is known as a stretch forward. He is running out of time to prove he belongs on the final roster.. PF. Indiana Pacers. OMARI JOHNSON

C -. Stewart was meh in his Pacer debut with five points and two rebounds. He hit a clutch three late in the overtime period, but his foot was just barely out of bounds and the shot was called off. Not awful from Stewart, but like Johnson, he is running out of time to prove he belongs in the NBA.. SG. Indiana Pacers. ELIJAH STEWART

The Pacers next play on Monday against the Cavaliers in Cleveland. It will be the first time the two teams see each other since the Cavs knocked the Pacers out of the playoffs last year.