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8p9s: Why the Pacers only scored 8 points in the 3rd quarter of game 1

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  • 8p9s: Why the Pacers only scored 8 points in the 3rd quarter of game 1

    https://8points9seconds.com/2019/04/...oints-quarter/

    (You'll need to go to the article itself to see the actual film clips - they aren't embedding.)

    Why the Pacers only scored 8 points in the 3rd quarter of game 1

    by Tony East1 hour agoFollow @TEastNBAReggie Miller scored 8 points in under 9 seconds. The Indiana Pacers scored 8 points in a full 12 minute quarter on Sunday. Why?

    The Indiana Pacers scored 108 points per game this season. Some quick math tells me that is 27 points per quarter, a healthy amount. The Pacers won multiple games this season in which they only scored a teen-something amount of points in an individual quarter.

    Bad quarters are survivable. Atrocious quarters are not.

    Combine the 1st, 2nd, and 4th quarters of the Pacers Game 1 loss to Boston, and the Pacers have a 66-58 lead on the scoreboard. Throw in the 3rd quarter, and Indiana lost by double digits. Thatís how bad the 3rd quarter was, fueled (or, in this case, not fueled) by a harrowing 8 point quarter in which the Pacers only made 2 shots.

    This cannot happen in the postseason. It shouldnít happen ever, but especially not on the biggest stage. No team should come out and make 2 shots in an entire quarter. Period. Why am I still elaborating on this? I myself have hit two shots in a basketball quarter and I stopped playing at age 16. I would score 0 against the Celtics, but you get the idea.

    There was a rush to assign blame. This has to be someoneís fault. There is a reason this putrid stretch happened, and we have to know what it is so that it can never happen again. Letís go to the film, shall we?

    Perhaps we should have seen a dud of a quarter coming. The first two possessions were turnovers, only bailed out of conceding points by a Myles Turner chase-down block and Jayson Tatum miss. It took the Pacers over 100 seconds to even release a shot.

    Finally, they get one up, on this possession:

    Thatís not the worst look ever considering it was at the end of the shot clock ó a testament to the Celtics defense. Thankfully, Myles Turner tipped it out and kept the ball in the Pacers hands for another 14. They used the shot clock reset to get this look:

    Baynes dropped and let DC have that shot. Itís not a bad shot, it was wide open and DC has hit those all season. Thereís a reason Baynes let him half it though, the math says thatís a bad shot. Itís open so Iím mostly okay with it. Either way, the Indiana Pacers had a 40-second possession turn into 2 misses. No matter. Teams miss two shots in a row all the time. No need to panic.

    The Indiana Pacers would go on to get steals the next two possessions. The first one set up this three-point jumper:

    Why Darren Collison picked up his dribble in a 3-on-2 situation I will never know, but he is usually a sound decision maker so I will give him the benefit of the doubt. The result was a wide open 3 for a great shooter in Turner, so no complaints. It just didnít fall. Thatís two good looks that havenít fallen so far. Keep tally. Or donít because Iím about to for you.

    Here is the ensuing shot after the second steal, this time from DC:

    Thatís a great look in transition that just rimmed out (get used to those words). Thatís 3 good looks in a row that just havenít gone down, which is just as frustrating for you and I the viewer as it is for the team. Regardless, the team still led by 5, so no need to mope.

    After Horford hit a shot inside on the other end, the Pacers came back down looking to avenge their 3 open misses in a row. They run some nice floppy action to get Wes Matthews a great look, but Iím sure you know the trend by now:

    The announcer nailed it. The Pacers ďseem a little bit deflatedĒ. After fighting like hell to have a lead at halftime, to watch four straight good looks not fall is incredibly frustrating. The next one must fall. Itís the gamblerís fallacy.

    Then a game-altering play occurred as Thad Young committed his fourth foul, which forced Nate McMillan to pull him for Domantas Sabonis about 5 minutes earlier than he normally does. That doesnít really throw off any sets or anything, but the rhythm of the team alters ever so slightly. That matters, and it was evident.

    With Sabonis in, though, the Pacers do the logical thing and have him immediately spearhead one of his textbook PnRs. Darren Collison gets a GREAT look from 15 feet.

    It rimmed out:

    Of course, it did. Thatís 5 straight great looks. However, this possession could have ended with a better shot. Why is Myles Turner standing right under the basket, essentially nullifying any chance that the roll man can be open? The timing of Turner rotating to the corner was off, and the possession suffered. There is a display of your off-beat rhythm AND your misfortunate on rim-outs.

    Still, a tie game! There are plenty of chances to make this right. Perhaps a creative offensive set can create the shot the Pacers need to get on the board.

    And creative the next set was. Sabonis faked a PnR with Wesley Matthews, and Matthews quickly fired the ball to Turner at the elbow. Domas shifts over to run a 4-5 PnR with Turner, and Myles gets a great look at an open jumper from the top of the key.

    It, you guessed correctly, rimmed out:

    The optimism was draining from the Pacers at this point. 6 straight good looks not falling overlapping with your lead disappearing dominates your mental psyche. Itís just as hard to overcome as a matchup disadvantage or talent discrepancy.

    On the other end, Indiana forced a Kyrie Irving missÖ only to watch Baynes put in a putback. The most deflating defensive play. You get a stop ó the literal only objective of defense, and still concede points. Almost all the air was out of the tires for the Pacers.

    Finally, though, the Pacers get some points as Myles Turner attacked the basket and drew a foul. He only hit one of the two free throws (another theme to keep an eye on), but it was a point. Salvation at last. And it came from an obvious source ó attacking the basket. The good looks they had created so far were all jumpers ó good shots, but not as good as getting to the rim. Myles said ďscrew itĒ and attacked. He was rewarded with points. That should have resonated with Indy more than it did.

    Next possession, after forcing a miss, the Indiana Pacers miraculously still had a chance to tie the game. Collison tried to drive to the basket but was thwarted by 2 Celtic defenders. That was Bostonís goal Ė stop the drives.

    On a similar action to the Turner jumper from two possessions before, Sabonis set a pindown screen at the elbow for DC while he was resetting after his drive. The Pacers point guard whipped around and launched an open jumper over the dropping big, but he left it short, another clunked open look:

    A meeting of the minds was happening. Brad Stevens is willing to concede these shots for a reason. He doesnít want Baynes to scoot up any higher and give up space at the rim. But Nate McMillan is fine with all the open shots. Math was winning, and the numbers game had the Pacers frustrated.

    Collison committed a lazy foul in semi-transition immediately after this miss, perhaps as a result of his annoyance with the missed shots. Why he did doesnít matter. It was his fourth foul, and he was pulled from the game for Cory Joseph.

    Perhaps the ball of energy that is the Pacers backup point guard could spark a run, and a few makes, for Indiana. Something had to work eventually, right?

    With Joseph at the helm, the Pacers flow into a DHO from the left elbow (another thing to remember ó maybe start writing stuff down?) for Bogdanovic, but nothing was there so the Pacers go mismatch hunting. Jaylen Brown is on Sabonis, perfect!

    But the Pacers take too long getting the Lithuanian the ball, and the lack of spacing between Turner and Sabonis allows the Celtics to switch and recover. That makes Sabonisí shot more difficult and gives Bostonís D some time.

    The Celtics, namely Al Horford, come to help at the perfect moment, preventing the Sabonis post up from being close to effective. This is the first bad shot of the quarter:

    Kyrie Irving hit free throws on the next Celtics possession, extending the Celtics lead to 7 while the Pacers had scored just 1 point in the entire quarter so far. They had generated open looks, but many of them were jumpers, and a few felt like they were settled for. The team needed a spark, and Mr. energy was going to try to get it for them.

    Cory Joseph burst to the rim and got fouled. He hit both free throws, which marked the first trip down the floor in the third quarter where the Indiana Pacers scored more than 1 point.

    The clock read 5:27.

    Perhaps some momentum could be drawn from the 2-point trip. The lead was now 5 and it was back to anyoneís game. But instead of momentum, the Pacers accumulated irk.

    The ensuing two Pacer possessions were both turnovers ó a rushed Wesley Matthews post up and a botched DHO between Sabonis and Bogdanovic. The team was going through the motions, not actively trying to get to the rim or even create the open jumpers they had created early in the quarter. It was time for a lineup change.

    Tyreke Evans checked in with Irving at the free throw line. There was 4:16 to go in the quarter, and the Pacers were down 9, a 16 point swing from where they started the frame. They were at nearly 8 minutes of basketball without a made shot. Perhaps Evansí penchant for getting to the rim could be a Kickstarter.

    On Tyrekeís first possession in, the Pacers ran a wide pindown for Wes Matthews and generated a wide-open three from one of Matthews favorite spots. It was a great look. The Pacers try to hunt the best open shot instead of the first open sho most of the time, but this look from the slot was both.

    Shocker, but it didnít fall in this instance:

    I watched this game at a bar full of Pacers fans. Just a few real-life minutes prior to this moment, Tiger Woods won the Masters. Many bar patrons were still amped and riding the high of that memorable sports moment. After that Matthews miss, the bar went to somber. Nothing was working. Nothing was going right.

    And we were just observers with booze. Imagine being a player, and watching you and your teammates put together tons of decent possessions and justÖ miss. It had to be demoralizing for the Indiana Pacers.

    The emotions were affecting their play. Lazy passes. Nobody attacking the rim. Stagnant ball movement. It all was tied together, a snowball effect on an endless hill.

    Marcus Morris hit a 3 on the other end to give Boston their first double-digit lead. It had been 8 minutes without a made shot at that point. The crowd at the TD garden was roaring. The Indiana Pacers needed points.

    With mostly their bench unit in, the Pacers went to a staple of their second unit, the Sabonis-Evans PnR. Sabonis changed the angle of his screen at the last second and created a great lane to the rim for Evans, who went right at Al Horford on his way to the rim.

    But Evansí is contact-averse, and Horford defended him perfectly. The strong-side help leaned in to influence the shot, too. Evans missed the layup, and missed everything, only getting the crowd more into it:

    Unbelievable. Thankfully, the Pacers retained possession, and they finally made a shot! Well, they sorta made a shot. Thatís what it will be remembered as, butÖ

    It didnít actually go in. It was almost blocked by Horford, who had a magnificent defensive quarter. Sure, itís two points for the blue and gold. But it was close enough to a block to keep the fans engaged. And mentally, for Indiana, it canít have been great to see the first made shot beÖ not actually a made shot. Perhaps that is a reach, but it didnít really feel like an awe-inspiring bucket to me, especially because it took over 9.5 minutes to get.

    I thought this point in time would be a good one to reflect on why the Indiana Pacers only scored 8 points in this quarter. But let me tell you about some things that happened after that made shot first.
    • Tyreke Evans missed an open 3 out of a left elbow DHO
    • Sabonis split a pair of free throws, which only cut the lead to 9
    • Evans missed another layup, one that essentially rimmed out, and Sabonis couldnít quite tap it back in

    Missed layups, predictable actions, and missed free throws. A battle of poor execution, poor set calls, and bad luck all came together for the perfect storm.

    Then, it happened. With the lead still at 9, Doug McDermott arrived to make a shot and end the suffering. He got the rim (hey look, putting pressure on the basket works!) and hit a layup. Plus the harm. And-1:

    Almost poetically, it came after a left elbow DHO, and even that action came after an initial attempt at it failed! Regardless, the result was finally good. He hit the free throw (!) and the lead was 6. Life.

    McDermott would go on to miss 2 more threes in the final minute of the quarter, one of which came from a left elbow DHO. That particular shot was tipped, as Boston was ready for the action. The other was a close miss, which was a perfect summation of the quarter.

    Any high school coach will tell you the same thing Ė just keep it within 10 going into the 4th quarter. The Indiana Pacers had the lead at 8 going into their final offensive possession. A good pick and roll followed by some good ball movement led to an open Sabonis attempt in the lane, but he missed it. Terry Rozier got the ball in transition, ran down the floor, and hit a buzzer-beating 3 to extend the lead to 11.

    Fitting, really.

    The quarter ended 26-8 in favor of Boston, about as bad as a 12-minute span can go for one team. So, why did the Pacers only score 8 points?

    An avalanche of compounding problems. They came out of the halftime break executing the gameplan, generating open looks only to see them rim out. Then fouls made them shake up the rotation and the game plan, and that altered the rhythm of the players. Suddenly, the good looks turned into worse ones. Now, nothing is going in and the whole team is flustered.

    The Sabonis-Turner pairing was forced to play more together out of foul-trouble necessity. It cramped spacing and made it hard for the Pacers to attack the basket. They had to take mid-range jumpers and 3s. A team in their own heads was now losing the math battle.

    Once the free throws started to miss, and great shots started to rim out, the Pacers offense shut down. It resorted to similar, simple actions to try and end a slump instead of generating the best shot. Itís understandable. We are humans. Most of us try to avoid failure and embarrassment.

    The Indiana Pacers lost that mental fight, and it affected their on-court performance. They spiraled down from missing great shots to creating good ones to forcing bad ones. They got out of the slump and matched the Celtics blow for blow in the 4th, but it was too late.

    This level of bad wonít repeat itself. It was improbably bad luck to see that many shots rim out. But the Indiana Pacers learned a thing or two from this quarter ó keep your composure and stick to the plan. Otherwise, youíll score at a historically poor level.
    I love this analysis.
    BillS

    A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
    Or throw in a first-round pick and flip it for a max-level point guard...

  • #2
    I'm glad that someone finally wrote an article of what really happened during the game. I was saying it in the game thread that they were NOT taking bad shots. The shots just wasn't falling, and I could see the frustration piling up and pressure of the lead being cut down.


    Remember when we could have gotten 1-2 solid players and a possible Top 3 draft pick in the 2017 NBA Draft by trading away Paul George?

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by ksuttonjr76 View Post
      I'm glad that someone finally wrote an article of what really happened during the game. I was saying it in the game thread that they were NOT taking bad shots. The shots just wasn't falling, and I could see the frustration piling up and pressure of the lead being cut down.
      Some of them weren't bad shots. However a lot of them were settled shots. There were three shots that I can remember that were distance jumpers (not sure if they all were three's or not) that there was an open path to the basket where we could have at least gotten closer. But some of them, as you say, were just shots that sometime we hit. Collison's mid range jumpers come to mind.


      Basketball isn't played with computers, spreadsheets, and simulations. ChicagoJ 4/21/13

      Comment


      • #4
        Lack of offensive rebounding also has to be addressed as well. In this article it mentions one Turner tip out. We were crushed on the boards overall, however we did grab two more offensive rebounds than they did overall. I know covering transition is top priority but one way to stop a fast break is to get an offensive rebound.


        Basketball isn't played with computers, spreadsheets, and simulations. ChicagoJ 4/21/13

        Comment


        • #5
          At some point you just need to put your head down and be aggressive, I would have rather seen a couple offensive fouls than to keep seeing jump shots rimming out.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by kent beckley View Post
            At some point you just need to put your head down and be aggressive, I would have rather seen a couple offensive fouls than to keep seeing jump shots rimming out.
            It's really a Catch 22. They were not taking bad shots, and they were shots that they normally hit. The stat that I keep hearing over and over is that Indiana is actually one of the top 3PT shooting teams, but we have very low attempts. So, it comes down to...do you continue to take the shots that's normally the best shot for the team (which is where the gamblerís fallacy comes into play), or do you try to change it up to "force the issue"? In the moment, I couldn't fault them for the shots they took, but I'm pretty sure (which the article points out) the players were at the point in the 3rd quarter where they were like "When is one of these damn shots going to stay in the cylinder?????".


            Remember when we could have gotten 1-2 solid players and a possible Top 3 draft pick in the 2017 NBA Draft by trading away Paul George?

            Comment


            • #7
              Someone help me out here. I know that the common theme for not playing Sabonis and Turner together is because of floor spacing. Why in the hell does anyone think that Thad Young spaces the floor? Don't other teams basically back off Thad praying he takes the shot while they pack the paint? If floor spacing on offense is the problem then why can't Turner just truck his *** outside where he wants to be anyway? I mean if you looking for post up action you go to Sabonis. If your looking for a high pick and roll you go to Sabonis. Sure Myles can do the pick and pop but when you need it going to the rim he is not who you turn to.

              So how and why does Thad supposedly space the floor?


              Basketball isn't played with computers, spreadsheets, and simulations. ChicagoJ 4/21/13

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Peck View Post
                Someone help me out here. I know that the common theme for not playing Sabonis and Turner together is because of floor spacing. Why in the hell does anyone think that Thad Young spaces the floor? Don't other teams basically back off Thad praying he takes the shot while they pack the paint? If floor spacing on offense is the problem then why can't Turner just truck his *** outside where he wants to be anyway? I mean if you looking for post up action you go to Sabonis. If your looking for a high pick and roll you go to Sabonis. Sure Myles can do the pick and pop but when you need it going to the rim he is not who you turn to.

                So how and why does Thad supposedly space the floor?
                IMO, I'd like to see Leaf get more burn with Turner, Turner/Leaf is a better combo than Sabo/Leaf. And Thad/Sabo is a pretty good combo

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Peck View Post
                  Someone help me out here. I know that the common theme for not playing Sabonis and Turner together is because of floor spacing. Why in the hell does anyone think that Thad Young spaces the floor? Don't other teams basically back off Thad praying he takes the shot while they pack the paint? If floor spacing on offense is the problem then why can't Turner just truck his *** outside where he wants to be anyway? I mean if you looking for post up action you go to Sabonis. If your looking for a high pick and roll you go to Sabonis. Sure Myles can do the pick and pop but when you need it going to the rim he is not who you turn to.

                  So how and why does Thad supposedly space the floor?
                  I have been asking this question for months. Myles Turner has proven he can hit the 3 point shot at a nice clip. He also tends to take long 3's and stretches the floor doing it...all while he's dragging the guy guarding him....often a better rebounder or shot-blocker...far from the basket. That opens up the lane for Thad Young or Domas, both effective one on one players around the rim.

                  But instead the Pacers play Myles inside the arc most of the time. Yet he's never been dominant inside either scoring or on the glass.

                  And no I don't want him shooting the pick and pop. Instead, have Domas in the PnR with Myles outside the arc taking passes from Domas. Like...use the players strengths.

                  But instead you end up with 8 points in a quarter and the worst offensive showing of the year.

                  I would also say, and I'm no 3 point fan, the Pacers underutilized that weapon and now when they try to use it under pressure they are not sharp enough passing the ball to get good looks so they shoot longer shots or see more pressure.

                  You have to have a strategy. I just don't see it. Under no circumstances should Myles Turner have been playing inside the arc...not unless he packs on more meat and can go to the rack with force.
                  Vnzla81: Yep pretty much, they cut him because they were going to get "their guy" they couldn't get option 1,2,3,4,5 then they went to Lance he said "no thanks" and they had no other choice but to get Lance 2.0 for three times the cost.

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                  • #10
                    Good breakdown of the game but I would be more confident that this was a fluke if they hadn't had similar breakdowns against Philly, OKC, Portland, and Boston during the regular season. I really think the team just doesn't have another gear to go into to match the intensity of their more talented opponents when they go on a run.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by naptownmenace View Post
                      I really think the team just doesn't have another gear to go into to match the intensity of their more talented opponents when they go on a run.
                      I will respond once again that it's entirely different. "Another gear to go to" means the other team kicks up the pace and you can't keep up. Not having it doesn't mean the wheels falling off your offense.

                      Boston didn't go to another gear - our defense still kept them from scoring at anything approaching their normal pace, much less a higher one. Our own offense stripped a gear and had the transmission fall out and leak oil all over the floor where we slipped on it and knocked the remaining cogs into the stands. Just keeping the gears we had would have been good.
                      BillS

                      A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
                      Or throw in a first-round pick and flip it for a max-level point guard...

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by BillS View Post

                        I will respond once again that it's entirely different. "Another gear to go to" means the other team kicks up the pace and you can't keep up. Not having it doesn't mean the wheels falling off your offense.

                        Boston didn't go to another gear - our defense still kept them from scoring at anything approaching their normal pace, much less a higher one. Our own offense stripped a gear and had the transmission fall out and leak oil all over the floor where we slipped on it and knocked the remaining cogs into the stands. Just keeping the gears we had would have been good.
                        Boston increased their defense and forced the Pacers out of everything they were trying to do on offense but this isnít the first time weíve seen this from this team. The same thing happened against Philly and OKC and to lesser degrees, Portland, Detroit, and Boston during the game that decided homecourt. Those were playoff intense games and the Pacers could respond when the the other team incresed their defensive pressure.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by naptownmenace View Post

                          Boston increased their defense and forced the Pacers out of everything they were trying to do on offense but this isnít the first time weíve seen this from this team. The same thing happened against Philly and OKC and to lesser degrees, Portland, Detroit, and Boston during the game that decided homecourt. Those were playoff intense games and the Pacers could respond when the the other team incresed their defensive pressure.
                          Were people watching the same game??? The Pacers had PLENTY of open shots in the 3rd quarter. Boston didn't forced anything on the Pacers. In fact, if you take out the 3rd quarter, the Pacers outscored the Celtics.


                          Remember when we could have gotten 1-2 solid players and a possible Top 3 draft pick in the 2017 NBA Draft by trading away Paul George?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by naptownmenace View Post

                            Boston increased their defense and forced the Pacers out of everything they were trying to do on offense but this isnít the first time weíve seen this from this team. The same thing happened against Philly and OKC and to lesser degrees, Portland, Detroit, and Boston during the game that decided homecourt. Those were playoff intense games and the Pacers could respond when the the other team incresed their defensive pressure.
                            They got themselves wide open shots against that huge defensive push by Boston. As demonstrated in the article, they missed them. This isn't an example of a team being smothered by defense and having no answer - it is a team that gave itself answers and then missed them.

                            It isn't a failure to step up, it's a failure to even stay in place. That's an entirely different stream of urine down the leg.
                            BillS

                            A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
                            Or throw in a first-round pick and flip it for a max-level point guard...

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                            • #15
                              I think there's some evidence on both sides in this article. The Pacers got a bunch of decent shots in their halfcourt sets this quarter, but no well above average ones. There are no layups, no 3's where the player is just standing still waiting for the ball, no corner 3's, no putbacks, and no foul shots until late in the quarter. Those are the areas where good offenses make easy baskets.

                              The Pacers instead got a bunch of second tier shots. 3's where the player has to curl or off the dribble, open mid-range shots off the dribble from good mid-range shooters. These grade out as pretty average shots.

                              Add in that the Pacers had 5 turnovers in the quarter, and even if the Pacers had made an average number of shots it would have been a little below average quarter. But of course the Pacers were terrible at shotmaking which turned it from a little below average to horrific.

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