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Thread: 4/6/2012 Game Thread #55: Pacers Vs. Thunder

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  1. #1
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    Default 4/6/2012 Game Thread #55: Pacers Vs. Thunder



    Game Time Start: 7:00 PM ET
    Where: The Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
    Officials: T. Washington, C. Kirkland, L. Richardson

    Media Notes: Indiana Notes, Oklahoma City Notes
    Local TV: FSI
    Local Radio: WIBC 93.1 FM
    NBA Feeds:

    REMINDER: Per PD policy, please do not share a link to, describe how to search for, request a link to, or request a PM about streaming video of a NBA game that is not coming directly through the NBA. Not even in a "wink-wink, nudge-nudge, know-what-I-mean" round-about sort of way. Thank you

    Season Records: (W-L)
    (Home: 17-7)
    (Away: 17-9)
    Upcoming Games:
    Apr 07
    Apr 09
    Apr 11
    Apr 13
    Apr 14
    vs vs at vs at
    7:00 pm
    7:00 pm
    7:00 pm
    7:00 pm
    8:30 pm

    Projected Starting Lineup:
    Projected Starting Lineup:

    Kyrylo Fesenko, getting into wacky hijinks in Point Place, WI, out

    Eric Maynor, torn ACL, out

    Minimally Relevant Video:

    Semi-Relevant Video:

    Eight Points, Nine Seconds Preview Review:
    Tim Donahue: By the Numbers - The Homestretch

    Time for another installment of the By The Numbers series? Indiana has a
    dirty dozen games left. It’s April, and the playoff race is in full swing, so
    let’s look at the big numbers.


    After the win in Washington, Chris Denari mentioned something I had not
    realized – the 33rd win of the season for the Pacers guaranteed that Indy
    would be .500 or better for the first time since 2006. Good on them.

    As I mentioned at the All Star break, the season has been a little uneven.
    Indy is only 17-15 after a 16-6 start, but to be anything less than thrilled
    with where the Pacers stand right now is more indicative of wildly
    inappropriate expectations than any shortfall by the Pacers.

    Most impressive, the Pacers are 16-14 on the road. They are one game
    away from reaching coach Frank Vogel’s goal of a winning record away
    from home. To give you an idea of how big of a deal that is, the NBA
    has averaged fewer than 8 winning road teams per season over the last
    12 years. The Pacers’ road record is sixth best in the league, and one of
    only seven winning road records in the league this year.

    9th, 8th

    As it stands right now, the Pacers in are in the top ten in both Defensive
    (9th) and Offensive (8th) efficiency. Should Vogel’s squad finish the
    season this way, it will be the first time since 2004 that the Pacers have
    accomplished such a feat.

    To further understand how impressive this would be, it should be noted
    that this would be only the fourth time Indiana has been in the top ten at
    both ends in their 37-year NBA history. Besides 2004, they also did it in
    1995 and 1998. In all three of those seasons, the Pacers made it to the
    Eastern Conference Finals. That 1998 team, in my opinion, was the best
    NBA Pacer team ever.

    .579, .362

    Those two numbers represent the Pacers’ shooting at the rim and from
    16-23 feet according to Hoopdata. This is a mixed bag.

    The .579 at the rim is an improvement from the last time we spoke (.556),
    and Indiana is no longer dead last in the Association. They have clawed
    their way past New Jersey and even Charlotte to stand 28th! Yay! But,
    really, they’re still bad at the rim. Roy Hibbert (.557), David West (.560),
    and Darren Collison (.531) 40% of Indy’s shots here, and their collective
    .551 is worse than any team in the league. Paul George remains strong at
    the rim - shooting .638 on the second most attempts on the team (163) –
    and he’s joined by Tyler Hansbrough (.633) as the only Pacers hitting better
    than the league average .627.

    At .362, Indy has creeped out of the bottom five, but they’re still well
    short of the .379 league average. David West is back to .470, matching
    last year’s sterling percentage. Darren Collison is up to .420, as that little
    pull up has become a reliable weapon.

    Tyler Hansbrough is still at .340, which I still believe is killing his offensive
    game. Last season...CONTINUE READING AT 8p9s

    Daily Thunder
    Clutch squared: Westbrook and Durant are figuring it out

    Ever since “The Altercation,” things have really cooled on the “Russell
    Westbrook and Kevin Durant can’t co-exist front.” Mainly because the
    Thunder have risen to the best team in the West while Westbrook and
    Durant have looked equally spectacular.

    They’re the top scoring duo in the league averaging a combined 51.9
    points per game. They’ve both scored 40-plus in a game together twice
    this season, something no other duo in NBA history has done. Since
    the start of 2010-11 season Durant and Westbrook have each scored
    20-plus points in a game 70 times, most in NBA. I could go on, but I
    think you get it. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are very good.

    And yet, there’s this perception. I say “this perception” because I’m
    not even sure if I know what it is anymore. Some think Westbrook is
    a ball-hog. Some think Durant and Westbrook hate each other. Some
    think Westbrook and Durant are locked in a battle for alpha dog
    supremacy. Some get locked into rudimentary statlines that explain
    nothing about the way Durant and Westbrook play together. Some
    just think they don’t play basketball very well together.

    But those that have watched the Thunder play this season, they’ve
    seen an interesting dynamic. Westbrook and Durant appear to be
    getting along very well on the basketball court. Oklahoma City’s
    record (37-12) should say enough, but the question is if Westbrook
    and Durant can, or will, succeed in the postseason. The spotlight will
    be on and every fourth quarter jumper that Westbrook takes will be
    criticized, analyzed and scrutinized.

    I’m trying to get out in front of that with this. So let’s start with this
    stat: In terms of “clutch” scoring, which is defined as the final five
    minutes (and overtime) of a game with a margin of five or less,
    Durant leads the league with 126 points. Joe Johnson and Chris Paul
    are second with 109. Westbrook is fourth with 102. Kobe is fifth is
    100. Consider this too though: Durant is shooting 41.1 percent in the
    clutch, Westbrook 49.3 percent. (Kobe? He’s at 31.3 percent. Just
    wanted to toss that out there.)

    The Thunder, who have played a good number of close games, have
    scored 277 points as a team in the clutch. Durant and Westbrook have
    combined for 228 of them. The Thunder have been one of the best
    teams at closing close games, and that’s been largely due to the
    success of Westbrook and Durant operating in those moments. They
    finished one and two in clutch scoring last season (Westbrook 199
    points on 39.1 shooting, Durant 194 on 40.6), but this year, it’s a
    much more cohesive, natural attack.

    As for the idea that Westbrook doesn’t defer, that’s just incorrect.
    This is the darkest timeline.

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