Player Grades from the Pacers’ ugly loss to the Heat

Aaron Nesmith, Indiana Pacers (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Aaron Nesmith, Indiana Pacers (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

The Indiana Pacers couldn’t get through the brick wall that is the Miami Heat, scoring their lowest total in a game this year. The Heat shut down Tyrese Haliburton and the Pacer’s rotation players couldn’t quite do enough to fill the offensive hole usually full to the brim by  #0, and the Pacers lose 87-82.

Let’s take a look at how the Pacers players performed.

Player grades from the Indiana Pacers’ ugly loss to the Miami Heat

D. Bam Adebayo is an elite defender. There are a lot of centers in the NBA that, if tasked with guarding Haliburton, would get cut to pieces and fed to the birds. Adebayo made Haliburton look like he was a kid playing against his dad in the driveway. That 1 solitary point surely feels mighty isolated sitting there, all by his lonesome. Haliburton did create for his teammates, although 6 assists are only about half of his per-game average this season.. Guard. Indiana Pacers. TYRESE HALIBURTON

B+. Buddy Hield was the lone match struck in the deep depths of offensive darkness tonight. He was efficient, hitting 8 of 16 from the field and 3 of 7 from deep. When so much of the rest of the team looked very green against Miami’s stout defense, Hield’s veteran scoring acumen was on display.. Guard. Indiana Pacers. BUDDY HIELD

Andrew Nembhard continues to have a revelatory rookie season. Playing the 3rd most minutes on the team tonight, he worked his backside off keeping Jimmy Butler quiet for much of the game, and he managed a cool and efficient 18 points.  There are still quite a few lessons to be learned for Nembhard, especially around the rim, but his starting spot on this Pacers team has never looked more secure.. Guard. Indiana Pacers. ANDREW NEMBHARD. A-

B+. Starting tonight in place of a struggling Jalen Smith, Nesmith impressed with a combination of tough defense and quick scoring punches. Nesmith seemed to take the loss to the Nets personally because his defense against Tyler Herro in this game was inspired. He also produced a few impressive stops against Jimmy Butler. Those are the things Nesmith needs to do to solidify his influence in this Pacers team. On top of his great defense tonight, Aaron dropped in 12 points. Although his aggressive driving is a welcome sight, he has some work to do finding the finishing touches in his scoring package.. Forward. Indiana Pacers. AARON NESMITH

B+. Another solid performance from Myles Turner. 15 points, 13 rebounds, and 3 blocks. He’s the Pacers’ best defender and it showed again tonight.. Center. Indiana Pacers. MYLES TURNER

C-. A really rough shooting night for Bennedict Mathurin who only managed 9 points on 2 made field goals. Got to the foul line 4 times and made all 4. He’ll learn and grow from playing a defense as good as the Heat’s. His defensive effort was better tonight than on Saturday.. Guard. Indiana Pacers. BENNEDICT MATHURIN

TJ led a bench unit that couldn’t get anything going at all. He had a few needed buckets in the painted area, but outside of that, couldn’t penetrate and dish the way he’s usually able to. The Heat were really good defensively. Noticing a theme?. Guard. Indiana Pacers. TJ MCCONNELL. C+

D. Oshae couldn’t follow up his positive performance against the Nets with another good showing tonight. He was invisible. 0 for 5 from the field, didn’t get to the line, and couldn’t dish any assists.. Forward. Indiana Pacers. OSHAE BRISSETT

Smith lost his starting spot tonight and frankly didn’t do anything to earn it back for the next game. He missed all his shots tonight. He did get to the line 4 times, but missed half of those freebies. You can’t ever say Jalen’s poor play is due to a lack of effort, though. He had a few impressive hustle plays tonight.. Center. Indiana Pacers. JALEN SMITH. C-

The Pacers will try to bounce back when they welcome the Golden State Warriors to Gainbridge Fieldhouse on Wednesday night at 7:30.

Next. 4 tenacious rebounders the Pacers can trade for right now. dark