Post-Game Grades: Pacers Lose Pivotal Game 4 to Two Freight Trains, Squander Early Lead
There are certainly things that the Pacers can look back and in regret. They went for too many knockout threes early when they were rolling, forcing turnovers and running instead of dishing out body blows that would have extended the lead. A team like Miami can always come back so you’re not going to beat them in the first quarter. So the priority should be stacking made hoops not trying to run them out of the building.
There are also so definite reasons to question why coach Frank Vogel left Roy Hibbert and David West on the bench so long in the fourth quarter when they only had four fouls. Miami was up 4 when West checked out with 2:58 left in the third quarter and only 5 when he and Hibbert came back in with only 6:11 left in the fourth. So the game didn’t get away from Indiana by any means. But there is certainly an argument to be made that Miami took complete control of the game against a non-traditional Pacers small-ball lineup, and that Vogel should have gone back with this A-team as soon as possible to exert his team’s physicality and size back on the game when there was still more time to recover from the onslaught that hit them in the third.
But, yeah, it was mostly that.
LeBron was a force of nature, dropping a ridiculous 40/18/9 stat line that hasn’t occurred in the Playoffs since Elgin Baylor did so roughly a half-century ago. And after Dwayne Wade got going at the end of the second quarter, it was like being hit by a rogue wave in a row boat. The two of them combined to score 48 of 50 Heat points at one time and Dwyane didn’t miss a shot in the third, scoring 14 in the period — just like his partner in crime, James.
So, sure, look at the film, question your decisions and for god’s sake get back in the post next game. But more than anything, just realize that acts of God happen. The key is to not go quite so fetal next time and continue to score on the other end, instead of getting out-scored 30-16 (which was really only that close because of Darren Collison) in the third.
More on this game in the hours and days to come. For now, here is how each guy played individually tonight. Agree? Disagree? Express your thoughts below in the comments or yell at me (@8pts9secs) or Tim (@TimDonahue8p9s) on Twitter.
|David West, PF 28 MIN | 3-8 FG | 2-2 FT | 6 REB | 3 AST | 8 PTS
Virtual no-show, which was weird because he spent a lot of his time being guarded by Shane Battier. A fine gentleman and defender indeed, but a guy West’s size should be able to do more than score 8 pts on 8 shots. Foul trouble also plagued his game.
|Danny Granger, 42 MIN | 8-18 FG (4/9 3PT) | 5 REB | 3 AST | 20 PTS
Shot well and played well offensively in general although you would like to see him be the one, if West isn’t, to take control of a few possessions and make sure something good happens. He wasn’t able to do that when the drought was at its worst in the 3rd. He also, ya know, gave up 40 pts to LeBron, but sorta hard to stop a meteor so hard to be too mad about that.
|Roy Hibbert, C 32 MIN | 4-9 FG | 9 REB | 3 BLK | 3 TO | 10 PTS
Still protected the rim well but LeBron and especially Wade finally decided to forego the pull-ups and floaters in lieu of going at the big fella at the hoop. It worked quite often and put Roy into foul trouble. On offense, he wasn’t all that active.
|George Hill, SG 30 MIN | 2-9 FG | 2-2 FT | 1 REB | 4 AST | 8 PTS
Just pretty terrible all around. Let Chalmers get free for some early 3s and never made up for it on offense. Lead disappeared on his watch in the 3rd quarter.
|Paul George, 36 MIN | 4/11 FG | 4/4 FT | 6 RB | 5 AST | 3 ST | 13 PT
Played well at times on both ends. Torched by D-Wade, but I think the Spartan 300 might not have been able to stop Flash. Still was active and got deflections although he lost a cutting Dwyane too many times. At some point, when he’s going like that, you — Indy’s best perimeter defender — need to prioritize slowing down the man over abiding by team principles. Missed some open 3s.
|Dahntay Jones, SG 3 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS
Probably should have played more but understandable why he didn’t.
|Leandro Barbosa, SG 19 MIN | 3-10 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 8 PTS
Wasn’t particularly good.
|Louis Amundson, C 16 MIN | 1-2 FG | 7 REB | 1 AST | 2 PTS
|Tyler Hansbrough, 14 MIN | 2-5 FG | 4-4 FT | 1 REB | 2 TO | 8 PTS
Was looking really good early, getting to the line and ensuring that there was no drop off in physicality when West left with foul trouble. But those two travels on what should have been two very needed buckets, right as things were unraveling, loom larger than the good start. 1 board isn’t acceptable.
|Darren Collison, PG 20 MIN | 6-7 FG | 4-6 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 16 PTS
Glorious. His 2nd quarter stint is the same type of game-changing performance he has been showing the whole playoffs. He wasn’t making things happen in the 3rd/4th as well, so wtth how he was going, in an ideal world, probably should have played the whole 4th. But this Heat series sucks for him since there really isn’t anyone for him to guard if Chalmers is on the bench.