To me it’s just painfully apparent that the Pacers are done with the regular season. They checked out somewhere before the all-star break and other than for a few big moments have been back since.
The Miami game was proof enough for me that when they absolutely had to they could muster up enough game to beat a good team and then the very next game not give enough effort to even be competitive with a team that they should wipe the floor with. That is no disrespect intended to the Wizards as they have been coming strong in the new year, but at the end of the day for the first 2/3 of the season we were not only the best in the east we were the best team in the NBA.
We just officially have to pray that we can beat the Cavs on Sunday because I can assure you that the Heat will trounce the Bucks and then we will only be down to a one game lead with us having to face the Spurs and the Thunder at home. I don’t like our chances there.
All we can do is hope that the sunshiner’s are correct and that in the post season with no back to backs or any other excuses that the team can flip a switch and this season won’t go down in flames.
There is not a lot of reasons to really dwell on this game and to be blunt that is probably going to be true till the playoffs. Whatever anybody says is wrong with the team they are probably right.
Our offense was atrocious as normal but if you want to say that the defense wasn’t great either than I’m not going to argue. Considering in the 2nd quarter we scored a whole whopping 16 points and in the 3rd quarter allowed them to score 30 it’s hard to say which is worse.
I’ll say it though till I’m blue in the face, we have no one on a night in and night out basis that can stick an open jump shot from anywhere. I just sit in amazement at how teams just run pick and rolls and the guard rises up and sticks a 15’ jumper off of a curl while if we did the same exact thing it would clang so hard off of the rim that the shockwaves would be measurable.
Now the one thing that was a little confusing about this game to me was Frank’s use of Scola.
Scola did a pretty good job of scoring the first half in fact he got 10 point, then Frank plays him 2 min. the rest of the game? Not sure what is up there.
But David West’s inability to hit anything inside the painted area anymore is beyond concerning for me. Hell I feel better if he does fade back for a three than I do with him putting up a layup.
As to Paul you can pretty much tell what you are going to get from Paul by the way he goes to the basket. Against big name teams he will take it hard and try and stuff it home, thus he gave us the Miami game. Against lesser opponents we get “to cool to dunk” Paul who provides us with a variety of finger rolls and scoop shots none of which usually find their mark.
Also there needs to be no finger pointing to any one player and there sure as hell should not be any player calling out any other player. This is a group effort, it is not a Lance Stephenson issue. Sure he missed his first 9 shots and that is a huge problem, but he is not the first player this season to do it and ultimately he hit 3 of his next 4.
I see Roy in the post game is already back to whining about the offense and while he can certainly complain that he didn’t get enough shots he better not say that Paul George or David West has earned carte blanche. They were both atrocious.
Also Roy if you would hold your damn position you might be able to get the ball passed to you in a decent fashion.
Either way though this game is just a repeat of all the other games we’ve seen. Teams just pack the paint and jam up the passing lanes daring anyone on our team to hit an outside shot. Till we do it that is the modus operandi every team will use in defending us.
I’m willing to listen to alternative views but for now I’m just going to go with the fact that they are bored with the regular season and are just cruising till the playoffs. My opinion is that this will burn them but stranger things have happened.
I’m just going to do a few grades.
Paul George: D
Yes he played decent defense and yes he had 3 steals but he also negated that with his 5 turnovers. 27% from the field doesn’t help either. Is not going to ever break through that upper level until he understands you have to play as hard vs. the middle and lower teams as you do vs. the Heat and the upper tier teams.
David West: d
It felt worse than a C to me but that’s what I’ll go with. BTW in everybody talking about Quinn Buckner one of the reasons I can’t stand him is because according to him West does no wrong, well let me assure you he does. He was out of position several times tonight on defense and again I am just sick to death of this guy missing layups. His lack of mobility also distresses me at times. Did attempt to rebound but overall I just did not like his game.
Roy Hibbert: d
Why do we only talk about good Lance and bad Lance? There certainly is good Roy & bad Roy. We got a dose of bad Roy tonight. Yes he blocked some shots and did a decent job of protecting the rim, but that was it. That is all he gave you tonight. He could not guard Gortat (when he dunked that ball on Roy & got the and 1 I had to slap my fist in my hand like Dwight Howard for the Polish Hammer) and God know he could not stay in position to get a rebound if his soul depended on it. Also please don’t give him the excuse that Lance was stealing his boards, he had several opportunities to grab boards and he stood there flat footed like a cow. He wasn’t boxing out anyone, he just was immobile and never went to get the board and waited for it to come to him which it never did.
Lance Stephenson: d
Do not shoot 5 three point shots Lance. There is a reason they were leaving you open to try and hit that. Also not sure that he made Beal suffer on the offensive end the way he should have but he did rebound. However going 0-9 to start the game was brutal beyond words.
George Hill: C
I realize when Paul George is getting up 22 shots that shots are at a premium. But again to me it is vitally important when George is playing against one of the uber guards of the NBA (I consider Wall one of them) that he make them work on the defensive end and not just by free lancing the passing lanes. He hit 50% of his shots, we really need to work on a way to get him more involved in the offense when the wings are not on.
I just don’t care enough tonight to talk about the bench.
BTW, is Watson going to be sporting a prosthetic leg when he returns? My God this is taking forever.
When 4 of your 5 starters shoot 30% from the field for a game you are not going to beat many (any) NBA teams.
Considering we played the Wizards I feel this is the most fitting music for this team tonight.