Grades: Pacers get Bucked, lose to Milwaukee

The Indiana Pacers closed out their pre-break stretch with a loss at home to Milwaukee.

So, that Giannis Antetokounmpo guy is pretty good, huh? He had an absurd stat line and led the Bucks to a victory over the Indiana Pacers in a game that saw the lead oscillate back and forth.

 

Milwaukee Bucks
106
Indiana Pacers
97

The MVP candidate looked incredible. He finished with 33 points, 19 rebounds, and 11 assists. A lot of players for both teams didn’t play up to their highest levels, but Giannis sure did, and that was the difference tonight.

On the Pacers side, Bojan Bogdanovic led the way with 20. Indiana needs him to keep up this scoring output if they are going to continue to win games. So far, he has been up to the challenge.

The Pacers mixed and matched everything tonight, altering their rotation in an attempt to have Thaddeus Young guard the Greek Freak at every turn. Thad didn’t do as nearly as well as he did the last time, and the squads slightly altered rotation saw Young play 38 minutes. He was gassed on

Also, Myles got Giannis with a block. It was awesome.

It’s simple, but you have to make shots.

Only one Pacer shot better than 50 percent from the floor (Mr. efficiency Sabonis). The Pacers shot 4/17 over the last 9:30 of the game, and 1/8 over the last 4:30.

That is how you lose a basketball game, folks.

Rotations, rotations, rotations…

According to my Twitter feed, the story of the game was Nate McMillan’s fourth-quarter rotations. The Bucks went back to their starters early in the 4th, while Coach McMillan waited a bit longer. The broadcast guys attempted to explain why (at least why they thought) he did it that way:

Whatever, the reason, it didn’t work, and Nate McMillan deserves some criticism for that.

Setting your guys up to succeed is his job, and I don’t think he did good or bad at that in this instance. As you can see from the point above, they just missed a lot of shots down the stretch. Going to the starters earlier might have been better, but you gotta blame everyone here. If the shots fall, I’m not even writing this paragraph.

Time for a break

38-20 at the All-Star break, the 5th best record in the NBA. Good stuff this year, Pacers.

Player and coaching grades:

DARREN COLLISON

PG, Indiana Pacers

B

5/11 shooting from Collison, but he added 7 rebounds and 6 assists. He has been good as the lead ball-handler in a sans Oladipo world.

WESLEY MATTHEWS

SG, Indiana Pacers

C -

The shots aren’t falling for Matthews in Indiana yet. He’s doing well in other areas, but not enough without the shot falling.

BOJAN BOGDANOVIC

SF, Indiana Pacers

B +

20 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists without a turnover. He didn’t do well in the clutch but was solid otherwise.

THADDEUS YOUNG

PF, Indiana Pacers

C

3/9 shooting and 4 turnovers. A very un-Thad-like game. He missed a few easy layups, too.

MYLES TURNER

C, Indiana Pacers

B

Your only Pacer with a positive +/- tonight was Myles. He had 11 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 blocks and helped stifle the Bucks offense in the 3rd quarter. 4/13 shooting is bad, though.

DOMANTAS SABONIS

C, Indiana Pacers

B

14 and 9 for the only player who had a solid shooting night. His D wasn’t great though, which is evident by his 4 fouls in 26 minutes. He was good overall.

TYREKE EVANS

SG, Indiana Pacers

C +

Good: Tyreke was 3/5 from deep!

Bad: Tyreke missed all of his 2s.

Overall Tyreke was fine, offering a good change of pace and some good passes tonight. Just not his night (or season) finishing inside.

CORY JOSEPH

PG, Indiana Pacers

C +

CoJo hit 50 percent of his shots, but uncharacteristically let his matchup (former Pacer George Hill) have a decent night. He was fine.

DOUG MCDERMOTT

SF, Indiana Pacers

D +

5 points on 5 shots. Not ideal. 3 rebounds and 1 assist and not great D to go with it. Spacing was about all he provided tonight.

TJ LEAF

PF, Indiana Pacers

-

Leaf played less than a minute to get Thad Young some rest late in the second quarter but was removed (in lieu of Thad) when Giannis Antetokounmpo checked back in. Not enough playing time to get a grade.

NATE MCMILLAN

Head Coach, Indiana Pacers

C

His rotation in the 4th looks like a glaring mistake. He got the Pacers up by 10 in the third with his gameplan though. Shots just didn’t fall when it mattered, and his rotations exacerbated that issue.
Next: The 15 best scorers in Pacers history

The Pacers host the New Orleans Pelicans in… 9 days! The Pacers don’t play again until the 22nd of this month. They should come back rejuvenated after the break.

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