The Indiana Pacers have just played their first 48 minutes (and some change) of basketball in 182 days. They took on the Memphis Grizzlies in a losing effort, getting edged out 122-127 in overtime despite a very competitive effort.
Indiana managed to stay in the game all the way through despite missing their top two point guards, with Tyrese Haliburton out for rest (and a trip to WWE Fastlane) after a summer of playing for Team USA in FIBA competition and Andrew Nembard out for at least a few days because of a kidney stone removal.
In addition to Haliburton and Nembhard’s absences, Indy was also missing Daniel Theis due to rest, as Theis is coming off a gold medal victory in the FIBA World Cup for Germany.
3 Takeaways from Indiana Pacers preseason loss to Memphis Grizzlies
Despite the lack of point guard play, Indiana adjusted quite well, throwing TJ McConnell into the starting lineup and giving various players ball-handling duties, including some new faces that fared quite well with the ball in their hands.
The game was close from the start, with the lead changing 17 times throughout, as well as there being 17 ties throughout the game. Memphis eventually pulled away in overtime behind 17 points from Desmond Bane and 18 from Jaren Jackson Jr, as well as unexpected late-game performances from Kenneth Lofton Jr. and Jake LaRavia.
In addition to these players, newly-acquired Derrick Rose added 13 points as the Grizzlies got the win. However, that is not to say the Indiana Pacers did not show up to play, as there were a few unexpected performances from some new faces, including the rookies, who really showed up and showed out for their first NBA appearances.
With that being said, there are a few things that I noticed as I was watching this game. Some good, some questionable, and some that I really think Indiana and the fans should be happy about going into the regular season.