This was one i was concerned about. They have some guys that are a hard cover for us. Forth game in five, etc.
This is a game that (a couple years ago) we may have gotten rolled.
Our focus and maturity are impressive.
I can see our starters really getting comfortable with each other. They just do not get rattled when they get down or miss some shots. They know how to work to their advantage.
The second unit is coming around. When we can get some consistent time for Scola, Watson, and Danny/Lance to work together I think we will have a very tuff bunch for opponent's back-ups to match up against.
Season's off to a great start. And contrary to what I've read here and there - We are not peaking early.
They've not seen our best yet!
And that's pretty awesome for a 7-0 squad.
To steal an analogy Bill Simmons used a few years ago: Watching Pierce and Garnett on the Nets would be like watching Matthew Perry and Matt LeBlanc boss people around the set of some lame sitcom. This just doesn't look right and clearly these two guys would still rather be wearing green. Pierce has looked OK this season, but KG looks like a corpse out there. At the end of the game, Hibbet altered a shot of his and made him shoot an air ball like two inches away from the basket.
Roy's postgame interview: http://www.nba.com/video/channels/nb...bert-alink.nba. A jolly fellow.
wanted to check in on the azz end of tonight's azz whoopin, typed in "nets.com"..... wtf? give it a try
"We believe in this locker room that we can get the No. 1 seed and we started the year with that attitude," said Pacers forward David West after registering 18 points and eight rebounds. "The fact that Game 7 of the conference finals wasn't in our home building we felt was the difference in a trip to the Finals and we're going to do everything in our power to get a Game 7 in our building. And we have to start from the beginning of the season."
"If we're going to have playoff success, having home-court advantage would give us an edge," Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. "We were 8-1 at home in the playoffs last year. To lose a Game 7 on the road, that's a tough environment. We're trying for that No. 1 seed. We're going for it."
For what its worth, I just checked out the schedule. Now I might be wrong but we only have one more stretch of 4 games in 5 nights. @ Boston, VS Utah, VS Golden State, @ Charlotte.
And thats the beginning of March. Thats three teams that could very easily be in full fledged tank mode.
The best part to this start of the season is the fact that we could easily be playing a lot better (especially offensively) and we still are 7-0. Our effort and fire has been there every game, especially in the 3rd quarters.
I know a lot of posters like to **** on the idea of Danny coming back and being a valuable part of this team, but I sincerely believe a healthy DG gives us EXACTLY what we need which is one more consistent scorer from the perimeter. Once we shore up those stretches of ugly offensive basketball, we'll be even tougher to beat.
Very impressive start to the year however.
I said it last night and ill say it again, smothering defense and it will only get better with Danny. Replacing Hill/OJ with Danny gives them more length, better rebounding, experience, and he's a major offensive upgrade even if he's 50%. Surely he can average more than 5-6.
This team is STACKED.
I also think the players aren't quite used to Scola yet either, he's had his moments but overall I feel like he'll be a lot better than he's been at the beginning of the season.
Just shooting the 17-20 foot jumpers is so nice, I think Scola tries to post on guys he shouldn't sometimes, especially when Roy is in the game, there's spacing issues and times where he just loses the ball.
Scintillating start to the year. Keep the train a rollin, but be ready for the bumps when they come.
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Quick thoughts, from next morning...
1. Because the positives are easy and everyone is lumping them on, we'll start with the nitpicking. PG24 is falling a little too in love with his three. You hate to tell him "no", but I'd like to see more midrange shots like he buried in the second half. Just one play, too, but I didn't like that he hesitated at the rim on a drive in the first half and got stuffed. Looks like he wasn't sure whether to dunk or lay up and went up soft...again, the result of just playing a little too passive.
2. Again, nitpicking: Lance Stephenson hasn't seemed dialed in defensively the last two games. Allowing penetration on drives, having some problems with going over/under screens, not always getting his rotations right. It's more a mental thing than anything, but I think we'll concede Lance will have off nights on offense...he just needs to make sure his head is on straight on the defensive end.
3. I think this was a great game to show any remaining doubters why George Hill should start over CJ Watson. Hill's shot wasn't quite there, but his poise on the ball and general command of the entry pass was. Watson struggled mightily down the stretch, though still glad to have him on the team. Just hope I don't see much more of him trying to be "the man" when George and Hibbert are on the floor at the same time. And Stephenson for that matter.
4. Hibbert's jump shot is actually a thing of beauty when he steps into it. He started getting a little overconfident last night in sweeping hooks, trying to play post offense vs Lopez (no offense to Hibbert, but it's just not happening with any consistency). He's best vs a team like the Nets when he admits what doesn't work, tries enough to keep D honest but doesn't force the fact.
5. Key to this team's championship aspirations will be the play of West & Scola. They play like they have the last three games? No one is beating the Pacers in a 7-game series, because no one has the bodies/skills to quite match up with that, and it's going to open up a helluva lot for aggressive players looking to take theirs at the same time.
6. OJ is a pretty damn solid basketball player. He's not a particularly smart basketball player. I've said this for a while now. Still young, but he's good for both one basket you'd never think he'd hit per game, and one terribly boneheaded foul/shot/turnover/moment of frustration per game.
7. No one outside of Indiana has any idea what a tremendous passer David West is.
8. I continue to really like the season Ian Mahinmi is putting together. I thought he was slow on the help defense last night, but the guy plays tough, and NBA refs despite him for some reason despite the fact he has improved his vertical defense by leaps and bounds over last year.
What's crazy about this Pacers team, and I don't recall saying this about any IND squad in a while, is how MANY ways they can beat you. Paul George off? OK, guess West, Hibbert & co will pick it up. That still not working? Hill or Scola will step up, and you always chance the Stephenson freight train. One of those nights where no one can hit anything? That's OK, the defense will pick it up, and they'll create offense out that. Opponents going big? Pacers have an answer. Opponents going small? Pacers have an answer.
It won't always be pretty, because in a way, it's almost robotic. Whereas most teams have to get creative with rotations, lineups, plays to answer, the Pacers just throw out their calculated answer to every problem and have them run the same variation of the same set of plays.
As some used to harp ... "You are your record..." lol
That is probably the most impressive victory yet. The nets played pretty well and seemed to be really going for a win, very intense and playoff like 4th quarter.
Is it me or did J Kidd look like a player who was hurt standing around the huddle in a suit as Lawrence frank was coaching