Player Grades: Pacers role players not enough in loss to 76ers


The Indiana Pacers didn’t get enough from players not named Victor Oladipo or Domantas Sabonis and were defeated by the Philadephia 76ers

Do you want the good news first or the bad news first, Indiana Pacers fans?

I regret to inform you that despite what you may have just chosen I am giving you the good news first. The good news is that regardless of what the final score was tonight, you can watch this highlight of Domantas Sabonis dunking all over Joel Embiid as much as you want. The sadness you may have had after this loss will soon subside, but the smile you will get from this video will last for as long as you please:

The bad news is that the Pacers lost to the Philadephia 76ers, and many players looked out of rhythm. Those losses are the most frustrating to deal with since it seems like they could have been avoided. But the loss wasn’t avoided tonight:

100. Final. 100. 93. 94

Victor Oladipo has ruined my writing ability

I don’t have the vernacular to describe Victor Oladipo anymore. He just shows up and dominates every game. His 11th straight game over 20 points happened tonight, and he got his first 30-pointer of the year in this one.

36/6/7 is video game stuff. Vic just has it this season, whatever it is. Maybe he had some of Michael’s secret stuff from Space Jam. I don’t know. He just has it, and he has inserted himself into the early MVP discussion.

The Pacers can’t quite handle switching

This marks two games in a row where a team that switches like size (i.e. the defense will switch who is guarding who if the two defenders are near each others size) has slowed down the Pacers offense. It significantly diminishes the value of the looks the Pacers are getting.

The team shot under 40% from the field. Instead of just attacking the mismatch every time there is a switch – if there even is a mismatch – they could set some off ball screens or cut more, basically anything to get the defense A) moving and B) scrambling. There is an onus on everyone to fix this problem because the current solution isn’t working.

The Pacers bench continues to be good

Indiana’s bench had 10 more points than Philly’s, and both Domantas Sabonis and Cory Joseph were solid on both ends of the floor.

There are many games where this has been (and will be) the case. This bench group has scorers, floors spacers, defenders, and fits well. It’s going to be the Pacers card up their sleeve this season.

D -. *sad trombone noise* DC had 0 points and 1 assist in 18 minutes. A complete non-factor on both ends tonight.. PG. Indiana Pacers. DARREN COLLISON

Indiana Pacers. VICTOR OLADIPO. A +. After the Rockets game, I wrote “Legitimate MVP candidate. Next.” Here. This time I will just give him an A + and say “next challenger”. SG

His three was falling, and he finished with 13 points, but Bogey was in over his head guarding Ben Simmons. It didn’t work and it hurt the Pacers.. SF. Indiana Pacers. BOJAN BOGDANOVIC. C

C +. Not the best Thaddeus Young game in terms of counting stats or impact, but he was still solid. I think giving him a larger amount of playing time would have gone a long way.. PF. Indiana Pacers. THADDEUS YOUNG

MYLES TURNER. D +. Turner had a great stretch to end the 2nd quarter but was not great outside of that moment in time. His shot wasn’t falling, and he shied away from contact when going up against Joel Embiid, which is not the way to defend him. Turner’s weaknesses were on full display tonight.. C. Indiana Pacers

A -. Sabonis was great and yammed all over Embiid. He finally got another double-double, too. There are little things here and there he could improve, but he was head and shoulders better than the third-best Pacer tonight, so this isn’t the time to complain about anything Domas did.. C. Indiana Pacers. DOMANTAS SABONIS

Indiana Pacers. TYREKE EVANS. C +. The shot wasn’t falling for Tyreke tonight, but his D on some of the Sixers second-unit guards was fine. Tyreke’s finishing at the rim is infuriating, but he has been solid at most everything else this year.. SG

Indiana Pacers. CORY JOSEPH. B. I’m alone in this but I enjoy the hell out of watching Cory Joseph play basketball. Hustles like crazy, defends like his life depends on it, and doesn’t just make a play because it is the first read. CoJo was a team-high +12 and played 31 minutes. He was good despite the lack of scoring production.. PG

SF. Indiana Pacers. DOUG MCDERMOTT. D. Spacing the floor – good! Everything else – bad! His floor spacing will be gone soon if he can’t get shots attemtps up. Teams will start to give him more wiggle room if the Pacers don’t pass him the ball.

D. O’Quinn got some burn to soak up some minutes against Embiid in the first quarter. He missed two jumpers and didn’t really contribute much else. Not O’Quinn’s shining moment(s). Got a rebound, though.. C. Indiana Pacers. KYLE O'QUINN

How Victor Oladipo changed the vibe in Bankers Life Fieldhouse. dark. Next

The Pacers will attempt to get back on track in Miami on Friday against the Heat in their new uniforms.