Post-Game Grades: Pacers Can’t Shoot, Execute and Choke Away a Game to Celtics
Collapse-tastic, this was.
It’s not like the Pacers played a particularly good game. Their revolting 32-for-88 (36.4%) shooting, including 6-for-27 (22.2%) from behind the arc, is literally the only stat you need to tell you that.
But they should have won. They once held a 14-point lead in the second half and were still up 9 with just over four minutes to play. Then they did that whole thing they do where they don’t score for a like 10 straight possessions. There were a few offensive boards involved here, so it wasn’t technically 10 possessions without scoring, but they missed their final 7 shots while turning the ball over 3 times in the final 4:20.
Not really much more to analyze than that. Just one big WELP, really.
Simply despicable execution down the stretch as the Celtics had more energy and kept forcing the Pacers to react to what they were doing in all phases of the game. It led to Boston out-scoring Indiana 11-0 down the stretch.
The only other thing to do is to take you hats off to Doc Rivers for running a stellar play on the Celtics final possession. The designe was wonderful, bringing Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce in the wing area on the left side of the floor for what looked to be a sure two-man game that would aim to get Pierce a look and leave KG as the release valve. Or so Doc would have you believe. Instead, there was a back pick set for Jeff Green, who scurried free to the hoop for an easy layin. Well, actually, the Pacers even got some semblance of help down low, but Green converted anyway, leaving just 0.5 seconds left so Indiana could toss in a hopeless lob.
Ball game. Boston wins, taking a 2-1 series lead over the two-seed that they may very well face in the first round of the playoffs.
|David West, PF 39 MIN | 4-10 FG | 3-4 FT | 16 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 4 TO | 11 PTS | +5
Praise him for a double double if you want in a game with a million available rebounds, but probably one of his worst games in this calendar year. Wasn’t useful late.
|Paul George, SF 44 MIN | 7-22 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 3 AST | 3 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 16 PTS | 0
Take a few more shots why don’t ya.
|Roy Hibbert, C 32 MIN | 6-13 FG | 0-0 FT | 12 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 6 BLK | 2 TO | 12 PTS | -3
Was marvelous early to the point that I texted Tim Donahue saying “Who’s this tall guy the Pacers traded for?” Played his great in-paint defense throughout but never got going again offensively after a fast start.
|George Hill, PG 37 MIN | 4-11 FG | 3-3 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 14 PTS | +4
Salvaged a blah game with two huge triples and a leak-out dunk that should have been the final push Indiana needed to win. Also had that swell near-full-court pass to PG for the breakaway.
|Lance Stephenson, SG 35 MIN | 6-15 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 2 AST | 5 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 12 PTS | -4
Feels like he had a bigger impact on the game than his offensive numbers say, what with the highlight plays and the Raiders of the Lost Ark boulder transition pushes. That and five steals probably earn him the game ball on a team that deserves neither ice cream nor orange wedges after this choke job.
|Tyler Hansbrough, PF 9 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | -7
|Sam Young, SF 4 MIN | 1-1 FG | 1-1 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 3 PTS | -2
Had that one monster post up on Courtney Lee.
|Ian Mahinmi, C 16 MIN | 1-3 FG | 2-4 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 4 PTS | +1
|D.J. Augustin, PG 11 MIN | 0-3 FG | 2-2 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -6
Had a good foul. Don’t recall much else.
|Orlando Johnson, SG 13 MIN | 3-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 7 PTS | +2
Starting to really like this kid. Maybe coulda been helpful late. Unless he shot at the wrong hoop, literally couldn’t have done worse than, as did the players on the court, help the team score zero points.