Post-Game Grades: Pacers Demolish Spurs in San Antonio
If you believe in such things as pre-Christmas statements games then you have to believe in these Pacers. Then again, if you believe in pre-Christmas statement games, you may also believe in Santa Claus.
Look, Indiana just walked into San Antonio and pounded all living hell out of a team that was a free throw and/or rebound away from a title last year. More impressively still, they did so after originally falling behind by 13 points. After playing catchup in the second quarter the Pacers did that race car thing yall in Indiana like and slingshotted (slungshot?) past the Spurs only to lap them like six times and win the race without hardly having too look back in the rearview.
Patty Mills and some other guys made this score look less laughable than it was, but Tim Donahue tweeted the record of the carnage, showing the 29ish-minute stretch when the Pacers laid an 84-45 buttwhopping on the team that is (probably) the best in the West.
The team play was excellent after the slow start, and an unlikely duo helped fuel the second quarter resurgence.
With Roy Hibbert resting and Ian Mahinmi becoming a foul monster (I think … at least one call was dubious), coach Frank Vogel turned to a Luis Scola and David West down low. They did work, and Indiana quickly not only erased their 13-point deficit but took a 4-point lead into the break.
Then it was George Hill’s turn. He was lights out to start the third and almost single-handedly dug the hole that his teammates would use to bury the Spurs. Paul George did his Paul George stuff, hitting threes like this league has become his personal Pop-A-Shot competition, and Lance Stephenson even added a few of his own.
It was way too much George, certainly too much David West, and it wasn’t long before Gregg Popovich took out his old stars and decided to let this one go.
This was easily the biggest accomplishment for the 2013-14 Indiana Pacers so far. They almost did something similar to the Clippers, but instead of keeping their feet on the gas they nearly let that one slip away. They were gutsy, if sloppy, beating a Knicks team in overtime at the Garden. And the early decimation of the Bulls was pretty sweet.
But doing this? In San Antonio? Yeah, you don’t see this happen much in their building.
It’s too early to make too too much out of this shellacking, but it was awfully marvelous to behold.
|David West, PF 34 MIN | 9-12 FG | 2-3 FT | 8 REB | 4 AST | 3 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 20 PTS | +33
West was incredible the whole game. Killed from the midrange, made some nice passes, bullied anyone willing to muscle up with him. Some points taken away for the first-quarter offensive boards given up.
|Paul George, SF 37 MIN | 9-14 FG | 6-6 FT | 4 REB | 6 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 28 PTS | +25
It’s not even Christmas and I’m honestly out of things to say. He’s like the Vincent Van Gogh of decapitating basketball players.
|Roy Hibbert, C 27 MIN | 3-4 FG | 6-6 FT | 10 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 12 PTS | +1
Didn’t need much from the big guy today, as the West/Scola lineup opened the floodgates that Noah’s Ark extinction level evented the Spurs. But Roy still managed a nice little line without using up many possessions. Found his way to the line a bunch early, which was important since Timmay was doing his thing a bit early, too. Some points taken away for the first-quarter offensive boards given up.
|George Hill, PG 27 MIN | 5-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 12 PTS | +12
His final stats don’t say much, but he came out of halftime like a man on fire. Or, like Man on Fire. He hit two threes and a layup in the first two minutes of the third. This put Indiana up 12 and was the beginning of the end for the Spurs. He did get smoked by Tony a bunch in the first, however.
|Lance Stephenson, SG 36 MIN | 5-11 FG | 3-3 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 15 PTS | +24
Early on it looked like he may be nearly as uninvolved as he was in the Portland loss. But he started to make more plays, and despite some his shooting struggles he stayed ready to contribute. He hit a couple of threes later that helped seal the deal.
|Luis Scola, PF 28 MIN | 5-9 FG | 2-2 FT | 10 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 12 PTS | -1
Along with West, he was instrumental in getting Indiana back into the game in the second quarter. Had 6 points and 4 boards in the period.
|Solomon Hill, SF 3 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | -8
Didn’t watch the part of the game he played in.
|Ian Mahinmi, C 7 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | -11
Fouled a bunch and was relegated to the bench. But perhaps he should get a good grade here since that forced Vogel to play West and Scola together?
|C.J. Watson, PG 24 MIN | 2-6 FG | 7-8 FT | 1 REB | 4 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 12 PTS | +2
Nice little game. Excellent finish at the rim.
|Donald Sloan, PG 2 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -2
Didn’t watch the part of the game he played in.
|Orlando Johnson, SG 16 MIN | 0-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | -20
Wish I didn’t watch the part of the game he played in. Was just as bad defensively as he shot from the floor.