Post-Game Grades: Pacers Finally Win
Hard to expect a well-oiled attack on the third night of a three-games-in-three-nights stretch, so it was not shocking that Indiana came out sluggish tonight. Really, they never got into a groove and that’s no surprise either since Danny Granger and Jeff Foster were both coming back after a game off. But they won and that the outcome was the only thing that was going to matter on this evening. Granger played some top-rate basketball at times, Paul George showed reasons to believe he will be on something like six All-Defensive Teams, and AJ Price stepped up to be the team’s best-performing point guard on a night the starter couldn’t get it going.
Make no mistake: this was ugly. The Pacers shot 12-for-41 in the second half (.293). But they held the Nets to 15-for-40, and forced 9 TOs. Over the last three quarters, Indiana’s defense was superb, keep New Jersey to an ultra-stingy scoring rate of just 89 points per 100 possessions. Not bad no matter who the opponent is.
Then again, they beat the New Jersey Nets at home by 5. Not exactly time to throw a parade.
|David West - 34 MIN | 6-16 FG | 4-6 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 16 PTS
Looked good at times, terrible at others — particularly when he made that Tim Tebow-looking hail mary for no real reason late to turn over the inbounds and give the Nets one last hope. Lost his matchup with X-Kardashian.
|Danny Granger - 42 MIN | 10-20 FG | 8-9 FT | 5 REB | 2 TO | 32 PTS
Beast. And showed that he might not be the team’s All-Star but he is its most dynamic offensive weapon.
|Roy Hibbert - 27 MIN | 5-11 FG | 3-4 FT | 11 REB | 4 TO | 13 PTS
Double-double but could have used more against a ramshackle front line. Played well late.
|Darren Collison - 26 MIN | 2-8 FG | 2 REB | 2 AST | 5 PTS
Got lit up by DWill and struggled to find his own offense while often creating none for anyone else. Now has 3 assists in his last 2 games.
|Paul George - 38 MIN | 4-8 FG | 5 REB | 5 AST | 4 STL | 2 BLK | 11 PT
DWill was 6/13 first half but just 4/11 second when he was mostly checked by George. Of those 4 baskets, Deron got a layup against AJ Price in a switch, a three after a bad TO by Price and one hoop when George was down at the rim defending the break.
|Jeff Foster - 18 MIN | 1-1 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS
It’s staggering and inexplicable how much better this team looks when he plays.
|Dahntay Jones - 13 MIN | 0-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 PTS
Brought his game from Cleveland back home with him. Bed bugs would have been preferred.
|A.J. Price - 22 MIN | 3-6 FG | 1-1 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 8 PTS
Very, very solid. This was the guy we saw during the win in Boston and against Charlotte in Indiana.
|Tyler Hansbrough - 17 MIN | 1-5 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 4 PTS
My mom told me that if you can’t say anything nice …
|Lance Stephenson - 4 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS
Non-factor in few minutes