Pacers prove their midwestern mettle and beat the Heat 99-91


The Miami Heat proved not to be a problem for the Indiana Pacers on Friday Night as the bench made up for a struggling group of starters.

Anyone who’s ever lived in Indiana in November knows; the Heat is rarely a problem. Tonight, the Indiana Pacers faced a bigger November challenge than normal with Miami in town, but they held on to beat the Heat in a back and forth Hickory Night.

The Heat led 27-15 in the first quarter. The starters (outside of Turner) struggled mightily, and the team looked lethargic. What felt concerning flipped on its head in the second, as the Pacers 2nd unit came roaring back, putting together a 29-5 run to give the Pacers a 44-32 lead that would carry throughout.

It was a game of runs, and the lead was never comfortable, but Miami didn’t have quite enough to compete with the balance the Pacers brought to the table. There were plenty of concerns for the blue and gold tonight, but ultimately, the Pacers walked away with a W against a potential playoff team. A win is a win is a win.

91. 110. 99. 100. Final

The Pacers bench we’d all hoped for is real, at least for tonight

The bench keyed a 29-5 run after things were looking rather bleak for the Pacers in the first quarter. The Heat starters had slapped around the combination of Darren Collison, Victor Oladipo, and Bojan Bogdanovic, and Banker’s Life Fieldhouse had gone unsettlingly quiet. Once Cory Joseph, Tyreke Evans, Doug McDermott, and Domas Sabonis checked in to accompany Myles Turner, fortunes changed. No bench player finished below +12 on the night.

Josh Richardson is going to be a problem for the Eastern Conference

It’d be easy to pile on Victor Oladipo and give him the blame for Josh Richardson’s big night, but he was matched up with Bojan Bogdanovic for more of the game than Vic. J-Rich simply caught on fire from deep, hitting 7-10. Every time there was a Pacers defensive breakdown, Richardson was there to capitalize. Jimmy Butler is a very good basketball play, but the Heat might’ve been on to something not trading Richardson for him.

Victor Oladipo is human…

Outside of Winning Time, that is. Oladipo finished with only 8 points on 3-12 shooting, but yet again, when things got tight and the game was in the balance, Oladipo drilled a huge three. This man is totally unfair in the last 2 minutes.

D. Avoids the F only because he got hit in the head late and came back up okay. 4 points on 1-7 shooting, egads. He did wind up with 4 steals, as the Pacers turned Miami over and over again when they clamped down.. PG. Indiana Pacers. DARREN COLLISON

Indiana Pacers. VICTOR OLADIPO. D+. Vic had probably the worst game in his tenure with the Pacers, or at least the worst offhand. 8 points on 3-12 shooting ain’t good. Oladipo really struggled to get anything going early, and the Pacers struggled right along with him. 5 assists, 4 rebounds, 1 block, and a big three late softened the blow of Oladipo’s struggles a bit.. SG

B. 16 points and 6 rebounds on 6-10 shooting is about exactly what you’d want from Bogey. 4 turnovers isn’t great, and he was often lost in rotation on defense. Pretty good night from the Pacers swingman on the whole though.. SF. Indiana Pacers. BOJAN BOGDANOVIC

Indiana Pacers. THADDEUS YOUNG. C+. 6 points and 6 rebounds on 3-7 shooting, a steal and a block. Mediocre Thad Young game on the whole, but it bears noting – while he didn’t fill up the box score, he was the only Pacers starter to finish in the positives in +/-, with a +12.. PF

B-. Turner came out absolutely firing in the first, and was the Pacers only real hub of offense during that time, probably preventing things from getting out of hand. During that quarter, he attacked, he shot 3’s, and he was decisive. Quarters 2-4, all of those things left him on the offensive end. He was excellent on defense though, finishing with 3 blocks (the broadcast credited him with 4) and 7 rebounds while mostly holding Hassan Whiteside under wraps. Worth noting he did finish a team worst -18 while playing the entire first quarter.. C. Indiana Pacers. MYLES TURNER

A-. 15 points, 12 rebounds, 7-10 shooting and 3 assists. Sabonis was as good on offense and on the glass as Myles Turner was protecting the rim. He tied for the team high (with Dougie McBuckets and Tyreke Evans) with a +21.. C. Indiana Pacers. DOMANTAS SABONIS

SG. Indiana Pacers. TYREKE EVANS. A. This is the guy the Pacers were hoping they’d signed. 23 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists, 6-13 from the field (including 5-7 from deep) and 6-6 from the line. The topper was Evans only having 1 turnover to go along with his big night. Easily Tyreke’s best game as a Pacers

B+. 12 points, 5 assists, 3 steals, 5-8 from the field. Another really good game for Cory Joseph, who has to be making Darren Collison a bit nervous looking in the rear view mirror.. PG. Indiana Pacers. CORY JOSEPH

C+. 3 points, 2 turnovers and an assist in 18 minutes, but still finished +21. McBuckets got up 3 shots tonight (amazing that that’s considered a good thing), all from deep. The Pacers need to get him involved in the offense – that 21 million over 3 years isn’t going to look better if he’s never getting the ball.. SF. Indiana Pacers. DOUG MCDERMOTT

Next. Someone please pass Doug McDermott the ball. dark

The Pacers next game is tomorrow when they face off with Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks. Tipoff in Indy will be at 7.