Indiana Pacers avoid sting of Charlotte Hornets

The Indiana Pacers picked up their sixth straight win with a solid victory over the Charlotte Hornets.

If the Victor Oladipo-less Indiana Pacers were their own team, they’d be third in the Central Division now after picking up a win over the Charlotte Hornets.

The addition of Wesley Matthews didn’t upset anything for the Pacers and if anything, helped them avoid their usual weirdness against the Hornets. His defense held things down until his shot caught up with him in Indiana. More on that in a bit.

Much like their first stint without Oladipo, the schedule has been favorable over the past six games, but extending the win streak to seven is a much tougher task against the Milwaukee Bucks.

Charlotte Hornets
90
Indiana Pacers
99

However, it’s clear after their recent four-game skid and now six-game win streak, they’ve figured out how to win without their franchise player.

Slow start for the Indiana Pacers, but doesn’t last long

Charlotte started off with a 7-2 run that felt like too many of these Pacers-Hornets matchups. But a 30-12 run by the Pacers to end the quarter shifted things back to the way God intended them. No insult to the Hornets, but they are a weirdly .500 team, and the Pacers are not.

It wasn’t so much one player that led the charge as Indiana ended the first half up 16. Only Tyreke Evans was in double-digits at the end of the first half with 12, while seven Pacers had 4 points or more.

The Hornets closed the gap in the second half, but the Pacers made them chase for the majority of the game thanks to their first-half run.

Myles Turner’s quiet and consistent improvement

More shots haven’t hurt Myles Turner’s field goal percentages and he is rewarding the Pacers by cashing it those extra opportunities. Turner averages 16.1 points per game in the post-Oladipo era while shooting 53.8 percent from the floor.

His 18 points on 6 of 10 shooting (and 4 of 4 from the stripe) fall in line with the improved and more confident version of Turner. The Pacers could stand to give him more opportunities but more importantly, Myles is making the ones he gets.

His defense remains his biggest asset, but he no longer is a minor negative on offense. For as bad as his season started, he all but wiped it away with the way he played since Oladipo went down the first time.

Welcome to the team, Wesley Matthews.

Defense travels so Wesley Matthews looked comfortable from the get-go on that end of the floor but it took time for his shot to fall. Matthews started by missing his first six shots, but he buried two needed 3-pointers in the fourth quarter.

Who knows if Matthews is anything more than a rental for the Pacers, but with the way he played (despite the early shooting woes) it’s hard not to like the idea of him sticking around. It’s only one game, but he is very likable so far.

DARREN COLLISON

PG, Indiana Pacers

A

13 points, 8 assists and made half his shots. Darren Collison isn’t a highlight type of player but night in an night out he fits perfectly into his role for the Pacers. Without Oladipo, Indaina’s need more creation from DC and so far he gets the job done.

WESLEY MATTHEWS

SG, Indiana Pacers

B

Welcome aboard, Wesley. His defense is really why he gets a good grade tonight. His shooting took some time but the way he buried those 3-pointer reminds you that it is just a matter of him before he gets consistent.

BOJAN BOGDANOVIC

SF, Indiana Pacers

B

A bit of a down game for Bojan Bogdanovic with 14 points and only 1 of 5 from behind the arc. That’s not a complaint as his play lately has simply been better than what it was on Monday.

THADDEUS YOUNG

PF, Indiana Pacers

A

11 points, 9 rebounds, and an impressive 6 assists for Young. Like many of the Pacers he stepped up his play as of late and it shows in the box score.

MYLES TURNER

C, Indiana Pacers

A

18 points, 9 rebounds, 3 steals and 3 blocks. Myles Turner is growing into his role as a scorer for the Pacers.

DOMANTAS SABONIS

C, Indiana Pacers

B+

9 points and 9 rebounds so no double-double for Domas. Despite some foul trouble, this looked like one of his better games in awhile. Playing more with Tyreke Evans probably didn’t help either.

TYREKE EVANS

SG, Indiana Pacers

B

Tyreke Evans was more comfortable coming off he bench as his 12 points on 4 of 7 shooting can attest to.

 

CORY JOSEPH

PG, Indiana Pacers

B

Cory Joseph helped propel the Pacers second unit as it finds normalcy with their regular rotations.

TJ LEAF

PF, Indiana Pacers

INC

2 points and a rebound in limited minutes.

NATE MCMILLAN

Head Coach, Indiana Pacers

Lol

Wesley Matthews: “We didn’t run any of the plays we practiced. I’m gonna have to talk to Nate about that.”
Next: Edmond Sumner signs 2-year deal

The Indiana Pacers go for their seventh straight win when they face the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

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