During one of the cupcake games I made the statement that I wasn’t as impressed with the win as many of you were. Well tonight is opposite night I guess, I am far more impressed with this win than some of you are.
We call the Wizards, Bobcats & the Nets chicken soup. I don’t consider Golden State Chicken soup. They are more of a hot & spicy soup and if you aren’t careful you can get burned.
Several things to like about this game, which we will cover some of here in a little bit but one thing that I really liked was that we came out with a plan, took it to the Warriors and then proceeded to dismantle them until there was nothing left. Don’t let the final score fool you; we could have won by 40 if Frank didn’t set the starters down at the end of the third quarter. So many times we get a lead and then let teams get right back in it. Well the bench did let them get right back in it tonight but for one of the rare times this season the bench also self corrected and then drove the lead right back up to ten.
Then came the onslaught in the third quarter. This may very well have been the best quarter of basketball we have played all season long. There wasn’t one person who played during that time for us that didn’t contribute and do severe damage to the Warriors.
While the wins have come over some soft teams the great news is we did take care of business and we have wiped out that five game losing streak in the standings. Tonight were going with the good, the bad & the ugly.
Paul George: Good is not a good enough word to describe the game that Paul George had tonight. Superb is a better word, excellent is also a better word, but I think we will go with other-worldly (yes I’m making that one word). Paul George was just a one man gang to the Warriors in the third quarter and he put on a perimeter defensive display that frankly I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Pacer do before. We talked about this after the game and Artest might have had a time where he played great individual defense and was able to shut off great perimeter players, but honest to God I’ve never seen a Pacer (to the best of my memory) shut down an entire team with his perimeter defense before. He completely destroyed Monta Ellis in the third quarter and made Mark Jackson wave the white flag after the third. This was not only the best game of the season from Paul this was his best game ever and frankly that third quarter might very well have been the best defensive performance by a Pacers guard that I have ever seen. Not only did he play defensive player of the year good defense during this game he also stuffed the stats with 9 rebounds, 5 assists and 11 points (two of which would have won him the slam dunk contest if he would have just done that). I can’t say enough how great Paul was during this game.
Tyler Hansbrough: When your backup power forward gets you 15 points & 9 rebounds in 25 minutes you are happy with that. When he gets the exact same stats in 16 minutes you are ecstatic. If he hadn’t missed his last three free throw attempts he would have had 18 points in 16 min. There is no doubt that his struggles have hurt the team this year. But the last two games he has been playing outstanding basketball (for him). Now I understand that this is a team that he certainly has some physical size on so he should play good, well he did. Mission accomplished. Tyler usually is an offensive force (when he is on) but tonight not only did he do very well offensively but he also rebounded right out of the gate tying both George & Hibbert for the team lead. If he could just give us ĺ of this game every game then we would be a true force (beyond what we are).
Roy Hibbert: Dominant is the word that comes to mind when I think about Roy in this game. He was just toying with the Warriors tonight, they had nobody & I mean nobody that could do anything to him. If there was every a question if Biedrins could guard Roy then it was answered with a resounding no tonight. I know Golden State likes to go small but Roy made them go early & often to the small lineup because they could not go at him one on one & even going small did not help them at all. He now has put together 3 great games in a row. Also now would be a good time to remind everybody that we turned old broke down Jermaine O'Neal into Roy Hibbert. You know the same Roy Hibbert who just played in the all-star game.
Danny Granger: It was great to see Danny get a good game under his belt again. I guess he just needs to play the Warriors all the time as for whatever reason the rim seems to expand for him when he plays them. So let me make sure I got this right. Danny Granger has scored 51 points on 34 shot attempts while Monta Ellis has scored 39 points on 39 shots. Oh yes, also the Pacer won both games. No, I don’t think we will be entertaining that idea ever again. Also while he did not play at the level George played, Danny did a very good job himself of deflecting the ball and actually getting a couple of steals.
Frankly I could just list every starter and include Dahntay Jones in the Good as well, but I’m running super short on time tonight. So let’s just say that all of the starters played great, Tyler, A.J., George & Dahntay played either good or great off of the bench and leave it at that.
3-22 from the three point line. That is what the Warriors did tonight. Some of that was good defense from the Pacers as they did close out on several shooters. But a lot of that was just shots that were not falling. Since they chose to go small ball then when the shots didn’t drop the Pacers were gobbling up the rebounds (again don’t let the fact that we only outrebounded them by 9 fool you, a lot of those boards came in the 4th when we went to our deep bench). In fact if it wasn’t for Rush hitting 2-4 from there they would have sunk 1 three point shot. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am that we no longer play like that. However I will freely admit that when the shots drop, which on occasion they will, teams like this have a punchers chance which is why they kind of scared me going in.
Lou Amundson: Good God Lou just had a bad second half. No hate involved here because he was large and in charge in our last game before the break vs. the Bobcats. But I can’t let this game go without commenting. Also while I won’t put him down as having a bad game I’ll just say that I don’t think that was Jeff Foster’s best 11 min. of time on the floor either.
12,111 was the announced attendance. I’m calling B.S. on that one, it was less than that. They may have had that many tickets sold (which is in itself a joke because I think tonight was a two for one night) but we got to the game and walked up the stairs right at 7:03 and they gave us the all-star posters and told us to take as many as we wanted. The problem was that the first 6 thousand people were supposed to get those posters. This tells me they either ordered more than they thought or by the time we hit the game 6 K people had not gone through the doors. Now there were some late arrivals tonight but there weren’t that many. What made matters worse was that Herb Simon was in the house for the game. I hate for him to come in and see that few of people there. We’ve talked before about what is it going to take to get people to the games and frankly at this point in time I’m not sure there is a real answer.
Conrad Brunner: No, not his physical features. Tonight he made it so that I could barely watch the first seven min. of the game and cause me to have my poor ticket rep running across the lower concourse on a search mission. Why you may ask? He tweeted that Dale Davis was at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. He did not correct his mistake until after I had searched every single seat in the lower level and had my poor rep out of breath from trying to find him in the suites or V.I.P. seating. Curse you Brunner for getting my hopes up like that.
Ok, great game. 5 game winning streak. Now let’s go get the Hornets and make this a 6 game streak heading into Chicago.