Sweatin’ Bullets: Love isn’t in the Air (or on the floor)
Sweatin’ Bullets is a recurring feature in which I provide you with bullet points on general theories, observations and commentary on the most recent game.
- Kevin Love sat out of tonight’s game after taking an inadvertent elbow to the head from JaVale McGee against the Nuggets last Thursday. Maybe he should have taken some of those pills that make the Pacers so tough.
- If playoff teams are supposed to use the last few weeks of the season to stay sharp and execute the offensive sets that they are most likely to rely on in the playoffs then the Pacers are taking full advantage.
- This week in “Former Pacers, Where are They Now?”: Brad Miller will be retiring at season’s end to focus on his hunting TV show. I’m really starting to get sick of all these NBA players that think they know everything about hunting. Way to encourage the stereotype, Brad.
- Leandro Barbosa’s three point shooting is unpredictable to say the least. Looked pretty brutal in this one, but 50% three point shooting in the last nine games coming into the game for Leandro the Barbarian (shout out to reader, Jordan, for the solid nickname recommendation).
- Speaking of Barbosa, the possibility of LB playing a similar playoff role to the one that J.J. Barea played for the Dallas Mavericks last year is tempting to hope for. They obviously aren’t the same player, but the instant offense and energy off the bench is undeniable.
- I haven’t seen Brad Miller shoot this much since dove hunting season.
- I really take this sports-writing business seriously, but I’ll admit that I stopped watching the game for a few minutes in the second quarter when the Pacers had a 23 point lead in order to watch footage of the Tupac hologram performance at Coachella last weekend. I hear Malcolm Lee scored four points while I was gone. I stand by my decision.
- As if it needed pointing out, everyone on this Pacers squad is playing with a very high level of confidence right now.
- Well maybe not everyone. Darren Collison looked rusty. But a point guard contraversy might be the only thing that can mess up such great chemistry. Let’s just assume DC will be back to playing at a high level by next game.
- The play at the end of the second quarter where the Pacers got four offensive rebounds punctuated with George Hill slamming it home off the rim epitomized hustle and energy. The Pacers had questionable effort at times of this hectic schedule, but I think it’s safe to say they weathered the storm. If the effort and execution are there in the playoffs, it will take a whole lot to send this team home early.
- If we pretended that J.J. Barea was Ricky Rubio and Brad Miller was Kevin Love then this win would seem even more impressive.
- Six years into his career I’m still not quite sure what exactly Martell Webster brings to the table.
- With David West’s aggressive scoring in this contest (22 points in less than three quarters) it might be a good time to remind you that he will likely be guarded in the playoffs by Ryan Anderson, Elton Brand or Carmelo Anthony. The Hawks would likely use Josh Smith on Granger leaving Jason Collins to guard West. We might be able to expect some nice productivity from Mr. West come playoff time.
- It’s always nice when an 18-0 lead by your opponent still leaves you up by 14.
- The updated playoff picture looks as such: Indiana moves to a 3 and a half game lead on Boston in the third seed. Atlanta beat Toronto to maintain a tie with Orlando, which Atlanta holds the tiebreaker to. Orlando beat Philadelphia who moves to the eighth spot although they are tied with New York who is in the seventh spot. So basically, Orlando remains the Pacers’ potential first round playoff opponent. I hope that made sense.
- The Wolves may have been depleted with injuries and have lost ten straight, but dominating any team the way the Pacers dominated Minnesota is impressive.
- Name a hotter team in basketball right now than the Indiana Pacers.