Grades: Pacers suck in first playoff game, drop game 1 in Boston


The Indiana Pacers put up a dud third quarter and walked away losers from Game 1 in Boston.

The Indiana Pacers played 3 quarters of a 4 quarter game. The other quarter, they were terrible. They were beyond terrible. I went to thesaurus .com to find the perfect word for how bad the third quarter was, but my computer exploded. It was a total dumpster fire, and the Pacers walked out of the TD Garden losers.

74. 100. 84. 18. Final

I’m here to write words about the game, but I don’t really have to. 74 speaks for itself. Indiana had 73 against Atlanta last Wednesday. At halftime. It was a completely dreadful offensive performance.

And yet, let’s zoom out. If you just look at the first, second, and fourth quarters, things look better. The Pacers won this group of time 66-58. They played well during those times. And looking on the defensive end alone, they played a great game. Giving up 84 is solid. It’s really good.

But it doesn’t matter how good all of that was. When you score 8 points in an entire quarter, criticism is how the game should be remembered. They made 2 shots in 12 minutes! That is a disaster.

They started off the quarter actually generating good looks. Then, after 5 minutes of effective jumpers rimming out, everyone shut down. The offense went stale. The team got frustrated and started chucking long jumpers.  The whole offense became elbow DHOs. It was an epic meltdown.

Reggie scored 8 points in 9 seconds. The Pacers scored 8 in 12 minutes. That won’t cut it in the playoffs. The offense just has to be better throughout the remainder of the series.

Thad and CoJo, a small group.

Thaddeus Young and Cory Joseph deserve a section of their own. They were the only two players that I thought played a good basketball game.

Joseph shot 5/9, and he did a solid job containing Kyrie Irving when he was tasked with guarding him. Irving actually didn’t have the best game shooting the ball too, which is a testament to the game CoJo had. The Pacers backup point guard was effective.

Young’s defense was insanely good, and he was being aggressive in a good way on the defensive end, ripping away 5 steals. Unfortunately, foul trouble kept him off the floor, which was a product of his aggression (and 1 bad call). Young was important — and had he been able to play more without foul trouble, this game could have gone differently.

The centers were bad.

This is a big postseason for both Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis. They both have money, playing time, and a future with this team possibly riding on this series.

You wouldn’t have known that watching this game. Al Horford bullied both of them. Horford was fantastic on defense. Turner and Sabonis couldn’t get an advantage over him at all.

They both were missing shots. Turner was fouling. Sabonis was coughing it up. Normally, the bigs are where the Pacers get an advantage. Not today.

Make some shots.

Normally, the anecdote of “make more shots” is lazy and reductive. I don’t like it. I like thinking about how to generate better shots. But…

In this game, a lot of only scoring 74 points was missing open shots. I thought a lot of the shots the Pacers generated were good looks that rimmed out. It was tough. The shots need to go in the basket if Indiana wants to win the remaining games.

Player grades:

Indiana Pacers. DARREN COLLISON. D. 3/11 with 3 turnovers is not the game I expected from Darren Collison. He has to make shots OR take care of the ball (preferably both). He can’t do neither.. PG

C -. Wesley started off with a great first quarter but his production cratered afterward. 8 points on 8 shots and more turnovers and assists won’t cut it for a guard. He played decent defense though.. SG. Indiana Pacers. WESLEY MATTHEWS

BOJAN BOGDANOVIC. C. Bojan got 11 good looks, but only 4 of them fell. 12 points were actually the second-best on the team. He felt more effective than his stat sheet suggests.. SF. Indiana Pacers

B. Thad played great defense. He shot the best percentage of any starter, albeit a measly 37.5%. He brought energy and ball movement. He was good in this game. It was a shame foul trouble kept him off the floor, but fouls are bad and hurt his grade.. PF. Indiana Pacers. THADDEUS YOUNG

C. Indiana Pacers. MYLES TURNER. C -. 5 points are rough. 8 rebounds in 30 minutes is a solid game on the glass for Turner. So, on the stat sheet, he was meh. In actuality, he was worse. The Celtics mad him work on D and coaxed him into 4 fouls. They limited his effectiveness in the pop. It wasn’t a good Turner game.

7 points (on 3/9 shooting) and 9 rebounds for Sabonis. His defense was bad. He coughed it up twice. And he couldn’t contain Gordon Hayward when he was matched up on him. A rough Sabonis game.. C. Indiana Pacers. DOMANTAS SABONIS. C -

Indiana Pacers. CORY JOSEPH. B +. CoJo played a great game. 5/9 shooting on his way to a team-high 14 points. He did a great job making Irving work too. I enjoyed watching Joseph work.. PG

D -. 2 points on 7 shots. McDermott couldn’t hit a thing. He did more passing and rebounding than normal, but that’s not his role.. SF. Indiana Pacers. DOUG MCDERMOTT

SG. Indiana Pacers. TYREKE EVANS. D. Reke had a great first quarter. He had a rough rest of the game. He’s going to have to be better putting the ball in the basket, especially if he isn’t being a distributor.

TJ LEAF. D -. I was surprised to even see Leaf in the rotation. He had 2 points in 9 minutes. He missed all of his shots. He was bad.. PF. Indiana Pacers

-. Holiday came in at the end of the game for garbage time. No grade for that. But he did hit a 3 and fly around with energy.. PG. Indiana Pacers. AARON HOLIDAY

Indiana Pacers. EDMOND SUMNER. -. Just garbage time for Sumner. He grabbed two rebounds in just over a minute.. SG

KYLE O'QUINN. -. Ony garbage time for O’Quinn. No stats. Just a turnover.. C. Indiana Pacers

C. A coach needs to take a timeout or draw up some sets when a third quarter like that happens. The players deserve blame for missing shots, but Nate didn’t help.. Head Coach. Indiana Pacers. NATE MCMILLAN

Pacers win tiebreaker to get 18th pick. dark. Next

The Pacers will have to be better in Game 2 on Wednesday. We will have it covered.