Tough interior defense, aggressive rebounding that led to fast break opportunities, shots in the paint, dominating your opponent with smash mouth basketball. I’d love to say that this was the Pacers game however the harsh brutal reality is that this was Grizzly basketball and we were the recipients of a beat down of Biblical proportions.
Spare me the back to back and on their home court nonsense. They played the night before just like we did, their game went longer than ours did and our flight time was shorter than theirs. Other than sleeping in their own beds for a few hours there was no advantage one way or the other. Anything else is just an excuse and a complete and total lack of respect for an opponent that just beat the crap out of us.
Let’s call it like it is, this was just brutal. Between Roy Hibbert’s inept play and Paul George doing his best imitation of George the Iceman Gervin (if he were blind and afflicted with debilitating arthritis) our night was pretty much shot.
But before we opine about our wounded hero’s and fret about the upcoming schedule let us take our hats off to the Memphis Grizzlies team. I recognize them; we used to look like that. We dominated the interior, had aggressive rebounding that would lead to fast breaks, shooting inside out and dominating our opponents with smash mouth basketball.
I’m just glad they are out west and we are done with them.
Alright now let’s look at our side. Sigh; there just really isn’t a whole lot to point out from our club that is worth saying. Lance Stephenson was once again the only reliable offensive threat we have. I know its en vogue to kick on Lance around here and yes he does hold the ball to long but I’ll be damned if we have anyone else on our team that night in and night out can just score when he needs to.
I guess for a positive I’ll say that Ian Mahinmi didn’t miss a single shot tonight and Chris Copeland didn’t suck. That’s about it.
In all honesty this game just came a day later than I expected. This is what I thought the Chicago game would be.
Psssssssssssssssssssssssssstttttttttttttttttttttt… .I’ll let you in on a secret. Had Scola not shot out of his mind in that Chicago game we might very well have been on the wrong side of the score last night as well. But he did so there’s no need to rehash a win.
I once again though will state what I said in my first odd thoughts back. We have got to have someone, anyone, hit some outside shots to open up the floor. Scola destroyed the Bulls with it, Mike Miller destroyed us with it and our lack of anyone hitting anything tonight would be comical if it wasn’t so tragic. For the record our team shot 36.5% from the floor. However if you just look to your starting unit between Hill, Hibbert, George & West they shot 29% from the field. Only Lance had a respectable night.
I don’t care how good our defense is, how well we move without the ball or set screens or any other thing. You are not going to beat an NBA team if 4 of your 5 starters are hitting 29% of their shots.
Not that we should bother with it but let’s throw some kind of grades out there although I’m tempted to just give a blanket F, but I’ll try and be fair.
Paul George: D
Maybe the coaching staff needs to convince him that by hitting a high % of his shots that Herb will kick in and pay for his call girls for the rest of his contract. I wonder if he could score then? Look it’s as simple as this, if he truly is just run out of gas then after this stretch we need to sit him for a few games and let him rest. However its one of those questions I feel compelled to ask though. As young as he is and in as good a shape as he is in why is he being so affected compared to other players in the upper status of the league? Mello, Durrant, DeRozan, Harden & Butler, all play a similar style and all play more min. a game than he does and none of them are going through this prolonged of a slump. Now Paul does play more defense than each of them but he has less offensive responsibility than any of them but Butler as well. Not sure exactly what is wrong here.
David West: D+
“Not so bad”, said Zach Randolph. Absolutely pedestrian game on offense and abysmal on defense. Missed rotations on defense a lot and just got worked by Zach all night long.
Roy Hibbert: F
The only social media thing I want to hear or better yet see about Roy Hibbert tonight is a picture of him apologizing the Lance Stephenson. After all of Roy’s bluster after the Knicks game how has he handled the offensive load? By going 5-15 from the floor and missing a wide open hook shot that Lance Stephenson had passed him. Also any guess as to what the similarities tonight were between Roy Hibbert and Tyrion Lannister? Neither of them grabbed a rebound for the Indiana Pacers. Since our team seems to be keen about sending photos on instagram and such if I were Lance I’d send Roy a photo of my junk.
Lance Stephenson: B+
Came to play, he was the only one other than Mahinmi that did not stink up the joint.
George Hill: F—
At the conclusion of the game the only real thing that would have been appropriate would have been for George to stand at mid court bent over holding his ankles as Mike Conley used a giant wooden paddle on his butt and George would have been required to yell “thank you sir may I have another”. This would be akin to how he played defense all game long. Look I have learned to live with the fact that some nights his shots aren’t going to drop, why should he be any different from any other Pacer in that regard and I can accept that he is never going to be confused with Chris Paul as a creator & I even understand when he gets blitzed by having to defend John Wall, Russell Westbrook and other super athletic quick guards. But to be abused my Mike F’n Conley? No disrespect intended to Mike as he has made himself into a very solid point guard, but there is just now way he should be able to get wherever he wants on the floor when George is guarding him. If he hadn’t dished out 5 assist in the 4th quarter he would have had zero for the game to go along with the 4 points he had. Putrid pathetic performance from George and he is better than this.
Evan Turner: C
Meh, not bad but certainly not good enough to make any form of difference tonight. Sadly the players he was passing to could not hit the shots he was giving them so unlike vs. the Bulls he didn’t look as good. On nights like this we really need him to be a scorer and 8 points isn’t going to get the job done. He needs to double that, in fact truly we need a solid night in and night out double figure scorer off of the bench.
Ian Mahinmi: B
Best big man the Pacers had on the floor all night. That’s not really a compliment btw. However in all fairness to him he hit the one shot he took and hit all of his free throws. However just like every other pacer big he was abused and pushed from stem to stern by the Grizzlies tough interior play.
Luis Scola: D+
Not every night can be a night like he had vs. the bulls but honestly we really need him to get back to giving us 9-12 points a night on solid 45% or above shooting. Our team is entirely different when he is hitting that elbow jumper and honestly when he is on we are going to win far more than we lose. He just didn’t have it tonight but it would have been hard to expect that from him.
Chris Copeland: D+
He is energetic I’ll give him that. Look our offense is so bad that in the immortal words of General Beringer “I’d **** on a spark plug if I thought it would do any good” so if Frank wants to give him a run at the 3 spot for awhile then really what can it hurt. I’m not sure why him over Butler but whatever, neither is dynamic enough on a nightly basis to make me care. He is a more aggressive defender than you might think he is btw.
Donald Sloan: D
Impressed Frank so much that he went with Evan Turner as the backup point in the second half. Did not do much of anything when he was on the floor which in tonight’s game was probably a good thing considering anyone else doing anything went bad on us.
I’m not even going to bother with the garbage players.
The only good thing about this game, other than it being over, is that the Heat for whatever reason are just trying to copy us in the W-L column.
This game in Chicago should be interesting as we all know they will be lying in wait for us.
Sorry there really isn’t a lot of joy in this post but overall it was just that kind of a game. As long as we maintain the # 1 seed in the East till the end it doesn’t matter but before we get to the playoffs it is vitally important that we work on our offense and our outside shooting.
Since we decided we'd play like a bunch of emo kids I think its only appropriate we play music befitting their game