Post-Game Grades: Pacers Get the Job Done in Philly.
In a 66-game season, it’s easy to miss the normal mile markers for success. For example, the Pacers picked up their 40th win tonight. While that’s a pedestrian number in an 82-game season, it actually prorates to just shy of the equivalent of 50 wins in a 66-game season.
Also by beating Philadelphia in Philly, the Pacers finished the season with a 19-14 record on the road – the equivalent of between 23 & 24 wins in a full season. In their 35-year NBA history, Indiana has only won a higher percentage of games away from home three times: 2004, 1998, and 1999.
The win puts Indy 3-1/2 games ahead of Boston, Atlanta, and Orlando for the third seed in the East. Those three teams each have 25 losses, so the Pacers’ magic number for locking up the third seed is two. Win two of their remaining four home games, and that’s it.
Danny Granger delivered 24 points while hitting six of his eight three-point attempts. In the 29 games since the All Star break, Granger has averaged 19.9 points and 5.2 rebounds while shooting an eFG% of .532.
In April, Granger has upped that to 23.5 points and 5.3 rebounds on .577 eFG%. The Pacers have gone 10-1 during the month.
At this point, it must be said that – as far as the regular season goes – Frank Vogel and his Pacers have met the highest possible reasonable expectations in terms of accomplishments. They have a job of work ahead of them in the playoffs, but they have done a job of work to get to this point. That should not be dismissed.
Plus, they overcame the yellow jerseys.
As a minor side note, this is actually the 1,000th post on 8p9s, so that’s kinda cool, too.
|David West, PF 33 MIN | 5-16 FG | 3-5 FT | 3 REB | 13 PTS | -2
Shot wasn’t falling tonight, despite a ton of good looks, but still made enough plays late to remind you of how important he is to this team.
|Danny Granger, SF 35 MIN | 8-19 FG | 6 REB | 3 AST | 24 PTS | -3
Hammered away at Philly’s D by hitting six of his eight three point attempts, added 6 boards and 3 assists to his 24 points. Granger has firmly reestablished his bona fides as the team’s best player with All Star-level play since the break.
|Roy Hibbert, C 32 MIN | 6-14 FG | 3-3 FT | 13 REB | 15 PTS | -3
Good game with 15 & 13, and a big three-point play late.
|George Hill, SG 37 MIN | 4-11 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 7 AST | 12 PTS | 0
Gets at least a half of a letter grade just for that old school pivot reverse bucket that completely fooled the Philly defenders…12 points and 7 assists in yet another solid performance.
|Paul George, SG 27 MIN | 3-5 FG | 7 REB | 5 AST | 9 PTS | -1
Best overall performance in quite some time, seemed to be more comfortable in allowing the game to come to him. Big defensive presence in the first half, despite going scoreless, then delivered some timely threes in the second half. Exactly what the Pacers need from him heading into the playoffs.
|Dahntay Jones, SG 14 MIN | 3-4 FG | 2-3 FT | 3 REB | 9 PTS | +8
Great energy and a few signature plays from Dahntay tonight.
|Leandro Barbosa, SG 21 MIN | 4-9 FG | 3 AST | 9 PTS | +6
Giving what the Pacers need – points off the bench, though his shooting touch has been a bit off lately.
|Louis Amundson, C 11 MIN | 0-2 FG | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 PTS | +3
Quiet game statistically, but team was still positive while he was on the floor.
|A.J. Price, G 11 MIN | 1-3 FG | 1 REB | 2 PTS | +5
Looked less for his shot, which is a plus…but not much of one.
|Tyler Hansbrough, PF 20 MIN | 3-6 FG | 3-3 FT | 4 REB | 9 PTS | +12
Very active game for Tyler tonight, particularly in the late third, early fourth, when the Pacers turn the tables a bit on the Sixers after struggling at the start of the third.