Post-Game Grades: Indiana Pacers win playoff series “Game 8” in Cleveland


The Indiana Pacers capped off their first road trip of the season with a sharpshooting victory over the struggling Cleveland Cavaliers.

A potentially tough stretch of three road games for the Indiana Pacers ended on a high note, as the Pacers handled the winless Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday night. The Pacers went 2-1 during the road trip, taking them to a healthy 4-2 overall on the season so far.

The Pacers were shorthanded in this one due to the benching of sixth-man Tyreke Evans, who essentially served a one-game suspension for showing up late to a recent practice. However, the Cavs were short a key piece in tonight’s game as well with Kevin Love missing time with a sore foot. The bench unit for Indy suffered without Evans’ ability to create opportunities for his teammates and run the fearsome pick and roll combination he and Domantas Sabonis have been perfecting so far this year.

Shorthanded or not, the Pacers were ultimately able to take care of business and defeat the Cavaliers on their home court. Indiana was getting anything they wanted inside the three-point arc, shooting an impressive 65% from the field on the night.

107. 156. Final. 119. 100

The Good: The Pacers shot the lights out, at least from inside the three-point line. There were moments late in the first and fourth quarters when it looked like Indiana might not miss at all for the entire period. The starters all finished in double figures as well, which is always nice.

The Bad: The Cavaliers absolutely destroyed the Pacers on the glass, finishing with a 39-24 rebound advantage, including an impressive 16 offensive rebounds.

MVP: Victor Oladipo looked smooth and in control whenever he was on the court tonight. He shot very well from the field and was getting his teammates involved too, finishing with a team-high 6 assists.

LVP: Cedi Osman has been a solid #2 option for the Cavs this season but could not step up tonight in the absence of Kevin Love. Cedi was a -14 on the night and shot a sloppy 4 for 13 from the field.

X-Factor: Bojan Bogdanovic was on fire tonight and led all scorers with 25 points.

PG. Indiana Pacers. DARREN COLLISON. B+. Collison shot well from the field and chipped in 15 points. After some early rust, he’s started to look more and more like himself as the season has gone on. He also tied with Victor with for the team-lead in assists tonight, finishing with 6.

B+. A vintage Oladipo game, who looked great on offense and was hitting from everywhere, getting teammates involved, and creating some havoc on the defensive end of the court. However, I refuse to give him anything higher than a B+ if he shoots below 50% from the free throw line, like he did tonight. Vic’s shooting from the charity stripe has been confusing this season.. SG. Indiana Pacers. VICTOR OLADIPO

A. Bogey has been one of the best shooters in the entire league this season, and that continued tonight as he went 10 of 14 from the field. Bojan led everyone tonight with 25 points, which is all you can really ask of him. He also made a couple of sweet moves to the hoop, which has been something he’s seemingly improved since last year.. SF. Indiana Pacers. BOJAN BOGDANOVIC

B. Mr. Elmer’s Glue Gluestick-Man (trademark pending) turned in his typical performance tonight, adding a helpful 10 points, 5 assists, and 2 steals. He had some very nice work in the post and took his defenders to school a few times. Thad has gotta be one of the most consistent dudes in the league night in and night out.. PF. Indiana Pacers. THADDEUS YOUNG

B+. A very nice game for Mr. Turner tonight, who shot very well from the field and led all defenders with 3 blocked shots. If this is the Myles we get every night, he was absolutely worth that contract extension.. C. Indiana Pacers. MYLES TURNER

C. Indiana Pacers. DOMANTAS SABONIS. B. Another solid game for one of the best backup centers in the NBA. Domas had 15 points, but wasn’t as dominant on the boards as he usually is, as he only snagged 5 total rebounds. Still, he finished a nice and-one, shot 66% from the field, and 100% from the line.

Hopefully this is the last time we talkin’ bout <em>practice </em>in regards to Tyreke this season. The bench needs him.. SG. Indiana Pacers. TYREKE EVANS. A.I.

A-. He didn’t light up the scoreboard, but 7 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 steals is a freakin’ awesome stat line for your backup point guard. Cory added from everywhere tonight.. PG. Indiana Pacers. CORY JOSEPH

C. McDermott only added one shot from the field. He was able to draw contact on a three-pointer and hit all three free throws, which was nice. However, he just wasn’t able to get as much offense going as usual. Missing Tyreke hindered Doug a bit tonight.. SF. Indiana Pacers. DOUG MCDERMOTT

PF. Indiana Pacers. TJ LEAF. C-. Leaf only got 5 minutes of action and wasn’t really able to contribute much of anything in that time span. He missed both his shots and turned it over once. He has better days ahead of him.

Indiana Pacers. AARON HOLIDAY. C+. Aaron only got two garbage time minutes but hit his only shot attempt. He got burned on defense once, but he’s a rookie. He’ll learn.. PG

Indiana Pacers. ALIZE JOHNSON. C-. 0-2 from the foul line and one turnover from Alize in 1 minute of action tonight. It’s always tough to grade garbage time minutes, but there wasn’t anything super positive that came from his time on the court.. PF

The #SumnerHypeTrain got a bit derailed tonight. With Tyreke Evans being out, it seemed like Sumner might get some time to shine in his place. He got into the game early, but looked a little jittery and made some subpar decisions with the ball. Can’t really fault the kid, though. He was able to add a steal as well as an offensive board, which were two bright spots.. PG. Indiana Pacers. EDMOND SUMNER. C-

The Indiana Pacers will take a two-game win streak back home to Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Monday night to take on Damian Lillard and the Portland Trailblazers.