Over the course of history humanity has witnessed many glorious and awe inspiring events. The birth of civilization, the invention of paper, the discovery of electricity, the signing of the Magna Carta and the Renaissance.
All pale in comparison to the lead entry pass that Lance Stephenson threw to Luis Scola for his 10th assist. Both of the one handed assists will get all of the glory and air play and believe me on their own each was truly a sight to behold but I’m telling you that pass was so picture perfect that Magic Johnson jumped up out of his chair (wherever he was) and said “hot damn what a pass”.
God love Lance he is nothing if not a live wire.
Hang on folks were going on a ride because our Indiana Pacers are 15-1 and are the best team on the planet. That’s right I said it and I don’t care who hears it.
We can talk about strength of schedule we can talk about how weak the east is but at the end of the day we are going to go into that one old sports clichť that can’t be overlooked. You are what your record say’s you are.
To give you an example of how damn good our record is right now let me remind everybody of this. We could lose the next 13 games in a row and we would still be above .500%. Chew on that for awhile.
Yes the upcoming schedule looks tough but I am now of the thought that the Clippers, Blazers, Jazz, Spurs, Thunder & yes even the good old Heat have a buzz saw coming at them. In other words while we can’t take any of them lightly believe me there is no way in hell they can over look us either, in fact I’ll go so far as to say none of them have faced a tougher opponent so far this season.
But let’s not get to ahead of ourselves, we have a game to review. Our victory over the Wizards is not to be overlooked at all. While they certainly are not the Heat they have been playing better and John Wall was just the Eastern Conference player of the week recently and had been on a 30 point scoring binge. Well that is until tonight.
Our total domination of the Wizards was so complete that honestly me talking about it is just almost a waste of time. In fact I’m tempted to just type out the lyrics to “what does the fox say” as it would make as much sense. But since I have some time to kill and I assume you don’t want to just see me type out Chacha-Chacha-Chacha-Chow and the like for the next few lines let’s actually jump into our first grades for the year shall we?
Before the grading I’ll let you vote on the hyperbole that should be the official hyperbole of the game.
Was the Pacer decimation of the Wizards?
A. Like Sherman marching through the South on his way to the Atlantic?
B. Like the German Army blietzkrieging the Polish Army in WW2?
C. Like the Bugs from Klendathu over running the Mobile Infantry in Starship Troopers?
D. None of the above, why do you have to keep using these idiotic references
Also frankly it’s going to be hard to grade this because this was mostly a team effort and nobody really had an overall outstanding game, well outstanding in the fact that nobody went off for 30 or blocked 10 shots or the like.
Paul George: A+ You want efficient? How about shooting 10-19 from the field and 3-4 from behind the arc? About the only thing you might complain about is that he didn’t shoot a single foul shot but believe me after that debacle the other night with those refs. I’ll take a combined 23 free throws from both teams and walk home happy about it. Not only was he efficient from the field he was once again a buzz saw on defense. He not only got 4 steals he was largely responsible for hounding Wall whenever he would venture towards the lane, which would often end up in pull up jumpers. Well he was one half of the reason for this; we will get to the other half in a couple of players. Also not to be overlooked on that one handed behind the back pass that Lance did to C.J. Watson is the fact that Paul George began to strut up the court as though he were a pimp and the world was his ho.
David West: A Hard to justify an A when your stats are 8 points and 5 boards but what the hell. There just honestly wasn’t anything else for him to do so I’m giving him an accumulative A for doing what needed to be done. BTW, you know it’s never a surprise to me that the Bucks, Wizards and a few other teams never really advance themselves because unless they actually get the # 1 overall pick they just tend to not be very good at drafting. I mean why wasn’t someone fired for drafting Jan Vesely with the 6th pick in the first round? Oh well their stupidity is our gain, thank God they didn’t draft Kawhi Leonard and block us from getting Hill.
Roy Hibbert: A+ Again another hard to justify grade based on stats but remember when I said we would discuss the second half of the reason why John Wall resorted to pull up jump shots? Well say hello to the other half. He only blocked one shot but I can assure you that once again he made another team alter their entire offensive game because of the way he patrols the paint. Also never let it be ever under appreciated that we have a big man who actually can hit his free throws. 5-6 from the line may not seem like much but in the big scheme of things it is actually rather huge.
George Hill: A I like when he is aggressive on offense because that makes some of these other “elite” type point guards spend some energy on something other than trying to get out and score. What we learned from this game, well actually from the many games we’ve seen him play, is that while John Wall is a great offensive player “elite defense” and he are distant strangers. It’s just too bad George wasn’t able to hit his three point attempts because he could have really had a big game. Most of those were open good looks he just couldn’t get it to drop.
Lance Stephenson: A+ Do you ever wonder if Frank Vogel has a voodoo doll at home of Lance that he both chokes and builds an alter to on the same night? Either that or does he actually name his ulcer Lance? Lance honestly can give you the good the bad and the ugly all in a matter of min on the floor but at no point in time is it ever boring or mundane. In the post game show Mark Boyle actually said that Lance may very well be his favorite Pacer of all time because he entertains him. Hard to argue with Mark on that. Good or bad he usually does whatever he does in a grandiose fashion and he follows that good old Def Leopard motto of “it’s better to burn out than to fade away”. Needless to say he was actually closer to a triple double by way of turnovers than he was via points. 8 turnovers 7 points. So the good Lance were the unbelievable passes and hitting the glass, the bad Lance were the turnovers and a little bit of the showboating (although admittedly it was entertaining) now the ugly. I’m not going to dwell on this but I’ll just say that contrary to what he was saying after the game he certainly was upset that he was pulled from the game, in fact he started to walk up the vomitorium and I was very afraid he was going to walk out of the game. Thankfully after a few steps he turned around and went back to the bench, but for a second there I thought we were going to see an incident, thank God this guy is not Ron Artest stupid.
Luis Scola: A+ Yea I know he how does he get this over West? Well simple it’s my post and I just feel like it. Look there are a lot of reasons we are 15-1 but one of the big reasons is that when we now go to our bench we no longer have gaping holes of time where we don’t score or just fumble the ball around. This guy is good in fact he’s so good that I still believe that we are not at the best we can get from him yet. He’s still learning our plays and our players and oh yea we get a bonus. He’s much better defender than we were led to believe. He’s no rim protector but since he’s come here game after game after game he is just getting better at positional defense and he now seems to be getting a decent amount of deflections. In other words he is buying in. He also knows to run on offense, hence why he was where he was so Lance could hit him with that unearthly good pass.
C.J. Watson: A+ Again I know these grades are really skewed tonight but I’ll give you my reason here. He hit the shot. Had he missed that shot than what will become one of the highlights of the year and for years to come would just be a useless behind the back pass but since he hit it, it’s a highlight. Okay it’s weak, so sue me. Again it’s my post so Other than that he also was just solid and once again just like with Scola I no longer have to set a timer on my watch for when the bench comes in and begins to lose the lead.
Solomon Hill A- Rookie getting some floor time and for the most part taking advantage of it. I really like what Frank does with our young players. Late 1st quarter early 2nd quarter have always been good developmental times and Frank for the most part follows the script. Unlike his evil predecessor who would not give solid time to any young player unless he had to, Frank has been consistent about getting young players involved whenever he can. Solomon has shown a good nose for defense and rebounding. He does not have much if any game from inside the arc yet but I’m hoping they are working with him to develop that. I appreciate the spot up three but I want to see him be more well rounded as well.
Ian Mahinmi: A Solid effort overall. Was very proud of him for actually not dropping a ball tonight on the entry pass and even more proud of him for getting some offensive glass going 2-2 from the line. He really struggles though against Kevin Seraphin because of Seraphin’s bulk. He did this last year as well.
We might as well go ahead and talk about Frank’s decision to take out Lance and the fans demanding Lance to return.
Oddly it was the first time in my memory that our fan base has ever uttered an unkind thing towards Frank Vogel. I understand why they were unhappy as we all would have liked to see Lance get a triple double. However nobody wanted to see that triple double more than Lance, which was a problem. Once he got his double/double it became very apparent that he was going to do everything in his power to score, including going 1 on 5 a couple of times. To Franks credit he called a couple of sets for Lance so he could give it a go but when it wasn’t coming easily Lance began to force it and honestly that’s not what this team is about. We got the win and that is the big concern, had he never gotten a triple double before I think Frank would have set him for a few seconds and then let him go back in when he was more under control. In other words Frank was trying to teach him a lesson and to Lance’s credit once he calmed down I think he got it.
Frank Vogel is a hell of a coach.
In my life I never thought I would be talking about a 15-1 team, this is so beyond a dream that it’s unreal. Hell it’s so bad that at times I’m trying to think of our weaknesses just to figure out a way for a team to beat us. When it comes to that you know we’re cooking.
Off to the West Coast where we will now teach them a much needed lesson in defense and pain.
In honor of Lance being the live wire I present you Motley Crue.