Analyzing Indiana’s Overtime Win Over Portland
After Indiana spent much of the early minutes trailing, the Pacers forced an overtime against the Trail Blazers on Friday night when George Hill hit a clutch three-pointer. It was the third time a Pacers’ game went into overtime this season.
How have the Pacers played in those overtimes? Well they’ve won all three and the execution has been great. It’s great to see a team play as well as the Pacers have in overtime so far this season.
The stats are obviously going to be a little skewed due to the tiny sample size of only 15 combined minutes but it’s still worth noting that, in overtimes this season, the Pacers’ now have an offensive rating of 136.7 points per 100 possessions and a defensive rating of 76.0. If they were able to keep up this rate of performance for 48 minutes, they would put up 134 points (on 56.0% shooting) and outscore their opponent by 54 points. (Here is a full break down of the OT stats, compared to the team’s overall numbers for the year)
The Pacers overtime win over the Trail Blazers was a continuation of this trend. Let’s break it down, play-by-play, to see how Indiana avenged its earlier loss this season in Portland.
The Pacers got off to a bad start as it seems like Danny Granger completely forgot to guard Nicolas Batum, who cut to the basket and was able to score over Roy Hibbert.
This is a play the Pacers used throughout overtime since Mr. West was most certainly in the building for this game. Here he runs a simple pick n’ pop with Granger in which LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Liliard both head towards Granger, leaveing West open to knock it down. (Spoiler alert: You’ll see the Pacers’ offense being run through West screens in most of the upcoming videos also.)
Next, the Pacers run the same exact play that they did in the second clip, but this time Liliard sticks to West, which gives Granny Danger an open mid-range shot that he misses.
After that comes a pretty wacky sequence. First Paul George almost pulls down the rebound, but it slips out of his hands and Robin Lopez secures it. Then, while PG is still pressuring the ball, Lopez lazily tosses the ball to Batum. That dish gets defected easily by Paul, who races outside the arc and inexplicably tosses up a brick. Thankfully he was actually just toying around with Portland and had actually tossed it in the exact angle that the ball would bounce directly back to him — which would give his teammates time to get down the court to set up the offense with a new shot clock. Good thinking by Paul. He passes to a trailing George Hill at the free-throw line then catches Nicolas Batum ball watching and cuts baseline to the hoop for an open dunk.
This put the Pacers up 107-105 — until Damian Liliard hit a tough mid-range shot that tied it up again. From that point on, though, the Pacers were able to go on a decisive 6-0 run that clinched the game.
Again the Pacers utilize a David West top-of-the-arc-screen, this time with George Hill as the ball handler. Aldidgre switches onto Hill, who immediately takes advantage of LMA’s 5 fouls by attacking the rim and scoring after a nice pump fake.
Lillard tries to respond right away by attacking Hibbert at the rim after a Lopez screen gave him some space to work with. The best defender in the league played it perfectly never leaving his feet as Lillard threw up some junk and he went flying out of bounds like a rag doll.
Granger gets decent position under the basket but just misses the layup. But Granger doesn’t give up on the play and forces Aldridge to chase the ball to the corner. Great awareness by Paul George, David West, and Danny Granger, who cut off Aldridge’s teammates as he’s trying to keep his balance on the sideline. LMA commits a cardinal sin of keeping the ball in bounds under his own rim. West shows off his wide receiver skills by snagging the ball mid-air with one hand and then thanks Aldridge with a dunk.
Once again here Paul George dribbles around a West screen and attacks LaMarcus, who still had 5 fouls, on the switch. However, instead of possibly fouling LMA out by going all the way to the rim, he takes a step-back jumper from just outside the restricted area. Roy does a great job of fighting for the ball with Robin Lopez, which earns the Pacers an extra possession. The Trail Blazers then seem to not be ready for the out-of-bounds play, Roy gets great position close to the basket, and he hits the hook shot to put the Pacers up by 6.
Damian Lillard reversed roles with Paul George from the last time these two teams met as he was hitting crazy shots to keep his team in it. This time he knocked down a three-pointer out of the timeout to cut it to a 3-point lead with 58 seconds left in the game.
George Hill missed an ensuing mid-range shot, but Danny Granger was able to pull down the rebound to give the Pacers a chance to run the clock down even more — and clinch the game.
The Pacers went to their go-to play again. LaMarcus switched onto him again and Paul George attempted a step-back jumper again. This time he hit the bottom to seal the game.
Paul George and Roy Hibbert (also Granger although we don’t expect as much from him) played pretty poorly most of the game, but each made plays when it counted most and there’s not much more you can want from them. It was a rugged Pacers win.