How do I know that this was a great win? Because my complaint of the night is that Frank didn’t get the starters out of the game at about the 3 min. mark and let the deep bench guys end this. I was worried about some dumb bad luck injury happening when the game was already well in hand.
But guess what if that’s my problem, I don’t have a real problem.
Look folks there are times to criticize, question, demand, admonish, suggest, be frustrated, whine, *****, moan, cry & throw tantrums.
This isn’t one of those times.
This will probably be the most useless post I’ve ever written because this is going to have nothing but praise and adulation for our beloved Indiana Pacers. Hell in fact I would lead us all in a chorus of the old Duke Tomato song “boom baby” if we were all together.
I have been a Pacers fan all of my life and frankly I have been fortunate enough to see a lot of big games with a lot of great teams that we have put together and I’m telling you that this win tonight, for me anyway, makes me as proud of our guys as almost any of the other games I’ve seen.
3 games in 3 nights and on the 3rd night we come out and stomp a mud hole into a team that prior to this had won 4 of its last 5 who had been resting at home since Monday and has a relatively easy schedule as far as travel goes since this is their 6th home game in a row.
Look I don’t want to hear about Thad Young, he would not have changed the outcome of this game. He might have made the loss something less but they still would have lost. I don’t want to hear about Andrew Bynum that is their fault for taking a risk on a player who has both a legitimate injury and a previously questioned work ethic. They traded away a really good player who along with Young might have helped them but at some point in time & as far as I’m concerned that time is now we have to stop apologizing for beating teams who are missing injured or sick players. You play the teams that get on the floor with you and that’s all you can do, you don’t control their players.
Okay I do have one other complaint but it is not against the Pacers. Unless the Wells Fargo Center sits 25,000 people there was no way in hell that there were 15,299 people at that game. If they had 12,000 people present I would be stunned. This is simply a matter of scalpers/brokers buying tickets or corp. sponsors buying up large chunks of tickets, that or everybody was in the bathroom all at once every time I saw the crowd.
Look the team has to maintain its composure, they have to take it one game at a time and not get to up or down or any other cliché that you can come up with. But we as fans don’t have to.
Tonight’s game is not one to be taken lightly. This was a huge win. Huge in the fact that had they lost only the bitterest of the bitter would have been on here complaining about a loss. The amount of time these guys have put on the court over the past few weeks is astounding.
So why was this game so great you may ask, other than the fact that they won it?
Because they went a different route tonight than they have the past few games and were not only able to prevail but in the end they totally dominated and frankly humiliated the 76ers (much like the Raptors did to us early in the season I will remind you).
We have been winning the past few games playing good defense but really for us stellar offense. Well tonight I’m sure due to tired legs the field goal % was just not that good and frankly early on as Quinn stated we were settling for jumpers.
So what did we do? We turned the volume on our defense up to 11 and completely shut these guys down. Do you think Evan Turner shot 10% from the field because he just had an off night? Sure there may be some of that but I think the fact that he never had good shots or he only got to take the shots we let him take had more to do with it than anything. BTW, you think Philly would like to have a do over on that draft? I do.
Only Wright & Moultrie hit 50% or better from the floor and again I’m saying because Roy Hibbert was an interior beast and altered a lot of shots and every other player out there was cutting the lanes and slapping at the ball and not letting their man get open shots.
In other words our defense was outstanding again and my God is it so nice to know that when our offense doesn’t click that these guys not only have the ability to turn it up a notch, they can turn it up 3 or 4, and can win a game based almost on defense alone.
I’m just going to go ahead and give grades tonight but I’m going to do it in a very unusual way for me.
Everybody and I mean everybody who played tonight gets an A+ even if their individual performance didn’t meet that criteria. To me the team played at an A+ level so therefore everybody gets it.
But as we all know whenever you have a team play at that level you have to look to the bench and I know that I am almost a fan boy when it comes to him but I can’t tell you enough what a great coach Frank the Tank is.
Did you hear Roy Hibbert in the post game interview? Yes he was funny, yes he went a long way in smoothing over some ruffled feathers people have had with him lately but if you paid close enough attention behind all of the comedy behind all of the affirmation that he is a good hard worker and great person was the meat of the subject about Frank Vogel.
What was Roy fired up about with the 3 games in 3 night’s issue? He was fired up because he said Coach told us that the NBA could have scheduled the game for March but that would have made the Bulls play 4 games in 5 nights and that the coach had us fired up about this.
Why do I love this? Because who knows how much truth there was here. Oh I’m sure that everything is true but who knows if that was even an option. Frank may very well have looked at a calendar and decided that this could have happened. But I have a feeling that it was implied to the team that the NBA was screwing with them over the Bulls.
It MIGHT have been true, it may not have been but either way Frank seized it set fire to it and formed it as any master glass blower would when creating an ornate decoration.
Also not to be stopped there later in the interview Stacy asks what he has done to come out of his offensive slump and he immediately tells us about Frank and him sitting down for a conversation and after that he got more confidence.
Frank Vogel it the best overall coach the Pacers have ever had in the NBA. I said it, I stand by it and I’m not ashamed one bit to admit it. I love Larry Browns teachings but the man was at best a difficult human being to deal with and ultimately he really was a coaching prima donna. Rick Carlisle was a master tactician but as Gnome & Hicks can tell you he had a very poor interpersonal relationship with staff and players both here and in Detroit. Larry Bird was Larry Bird and that meant winning but at the end of the day Larry wasn’t drawing up plays on a napkin and frankly I think he worked very well with that veteran team that he didn’t have to plead with them to do their jobs.
No Frank is the right person at the right place and at the right time.
Speaking of which poor Doug Collins tonight looked like he has aged 30 years since the start of the season. I wonder how much longer he will be in Philly. BTW, he’s a good coach who really has learned a lot of humility over the years and it’s too bad this is happening to him. Well to bad other than tonight that is.
Quietly without anybody really taking much notice Tyler Hansbrough has turned into an actual defender on the court. I was talking to Seth last night at the game about this and we all know how he feels about Tyler but even he was surprised to see how actually effective he was on the defensive end. In fact Uncle Buck should love this comparison but Tyler really is becoming almost Jeff Foster like in his ability to defend and rotate laterally without fouling. He is not and will never be a real rim defender but you look at the disruption he does on the perimeter and it’s really kind of amazing for a guy that big and strong to be deflecting the ball as often as he does.
If you go over our 5 game winning streak, isn’t that sweet to say, you really have to say that our Power Forward position has had zero let down in a game. In fact if David West weren’t playing like a Greek God right now Tyler would probably be getting far more min. on the floor but how hard is it to get time when David West is just an absolute rock on the floor.
Equally as quiet is George Hill in his play. He is almost becoming a silent assassin because you watch him all game and he scores here and there and you really don’t think much of it but then at the end of the game he’s got 15 or so points and you think, really? Tonight he had 1 turn over to go along with his 5 boards and 5 assists. He does though come through when we need it most usually with a big three to either end a skid or put the hammer down.
Also while I normally like to trash on him even I have been happy with Augustine these past couple of games. He has been driving to the rim and getting to the foul line, not to mention being the groin enforcer for us, as well as hitting his three’s. Him finding some offense on the bench has been a blessing to say the least.
What about Orlando Johnson’s play over this period? Am I the only one who doesn’t even give it a second thought when he pulls up for a three? That shot is pure, that is all there is to say about it. Draft value to the extreme for the Pacers at the two guard spot this year, both players picked in the second round.
Was there something to complain about? Oh I’m sure if we try hard enough we could find something but what is the point.
There is nothing and I mean NOTHING more any of us as fans could expect from this team over these past 3 games, let alone 5 overall. They have been entertaining, competitive and even fundamental for some of you old folks (I’m saying I’m young at heart tonight).
Actually now that I think about it that could be one hell of a slogan for the Pacers to use.
Come see your Indiana Pacers with something for everyone. Want some excitement here watch this Paul George reverse alley oop dunk in traffic. Need some speed watch as Lance “the freight Train” Stephenson barrels the length of the court for a circus shot. Or are you really ready to see some old school fundamental basketball then here watch this David West step back jumper over and over and over while no one can stop it.
Look I know I’m off the rails here and once again I will apologize because I am violating the first rule of being the leading cynic of the Digest, but tonight there is just no hiding my inner sunshine.