Let me tell you this first off: I did not expect the Pacers to win. I've seen too many bad things this year to get excited over anything, and frankly I am surprised.
But let me tell you this also. I have never been more proud of this team than I am right now. We have disproved the critics, we have confounded the league, and we will be playing Detroit. All I can say is hell yeah. Hell ****ing yeah.
I have not seen us play this well since we were 7-2. We just did everything great. I mean, we looked CLEAN and smooth. Offense was great, terrific shooting. Terrific ball movement.
But what won this game? Defense. We have FINALLY found it again. Just great defense. Terrific TEAM defense, great covering, double teaming, closing off lanes. Individual defense was also great. And once we started hitting shots in the second, defense was the best it has been all season.
Individually, EVERYONE played great. Not a single person did bad.
Jermaine- FINALLY, FINALLY, FINALLY started passing the ball. He did a fantastic job finding the open teammate rather than forcing it and getting bad shots. And whenever he did shoot the ball, they were great shots.
Jamaal- Had absolutely no trouble running the offense. More importantly, he did not try and shoot the outside shot. The dribble penetration was great, and he looks much better. He will continue to progress during the Detroit series.
Dale- What can I say, he is a beast. Great defense on Walker, and he even hit his outside shots, which was pretty hilarious.
Reggie- Nothing spectacular, but just efficient. Hit a couple timely shots.
Stephen- He was due for this game. Finally started hitting his shots, and no one, I repeat no one can stop him when he gets going.
Fred- Good for him! Finally got his shots going in. Poor guy, that hand had to be bothering him so much. But the key was that he was very confident, and that showed as he hit his shots. And that proved great on the defensive end, where he kept Ricky under check. Good for him, I hope that he will continue that, and he will continue to be my favorite Pacer. Hopefully he will get healthy fast, we WILL need him during the next series.
James- This guy is good. That one shot where he came off a screen and shot the fading jumpshot, I was like, is that Reggie? We have to resign him, even at the cost of losing Dale. We MUST re-sign him.
Foster- I believe he should start, though I have no problems with Dale. The guy is just so amazing at finding the ball. Not to mention he was hitting his shots, which surprised me. He has a terrific form for his shot, and I wish he would work on it. Because he really can shoot if he practiced.
Croshere- Nothing special, but solid. He should play more during the Detroit series, I think that he is finally getting healthier.
AJ- Once again, we have one of the best backup PGs in the league. He is very solid, and did a good job getting out of the ball pressure. Timely shots, and I'm glad we signed him long term.
Pollard- God this guy is funny.
Right down the line, everyone performed.
All I can say is, if we play like we did TONIGHT, we will give Detroit all they can handle. I hope we can keep our cool when we play them. It worries me.
Reggie still lives on.
But forget that for now, GO PACERS!!!!