Time to answer the questions I put together for yesterday’s game.
Which Pacers team will show up?
The team that showed up last night was the team that I thought would be here all along. There were plenty of guys stepping up, and there was a physical game employed by the Pacers on Blake Griffin that I think rattled him from time to time. The Pacers really made this feel like a playoff game, and you could see the effort that this team had as far as the game went. Sure there were some bad turnovers, but a lot to like in the way everyone was playing together and how the addition of Leandro Barbosa will help this team.
How will the Pacers defend Blake Griffith and Chris Paul?
Well the key to defending Blake Griffing was being physical with him and making sure he earned his points. There were three or four different guys who give him a hard foul and made him make foul shots to earn his points. Griffin still put up 23 points even with a three point, which was a perfect line drive. Didn’t even realize he could make those shots. Chris Paul had a couple of different guys who kept him in check until the second half as he put 16 points, which is off his average.
Who steps up for the Pacers in this game?
Well the easy answer is everyone as I feel all the guys really worked together to get this win. But I will go with Tyler Hansbrough, who thought playing Blake Griffin would be a challenge for him, and he defended him well at times. Tyler also put up 17 points, which is great to see that he is finding his scoring touch again.
Can the Pacers put together a complete game?
Definitely a complete game for the Pacers. Tied at the half, but then leading most of the way even building a lead of 18 points late in the third quarter. They also out rebounded the Clippers, which is great to see.
Will the defense hold the Clippers to under 100 points?
The way this game was going you would have thought there would be over 100 points in the third quarter. But things slowed down, and the Pacers defense came out in the third quarter to hold down the potent Clippers offense. The Clippers were held to 89 points when they average 97, so kudos to the defense.
Can the Pacers put up enough points to outrun the Clippers?
The Pacers did this as they put away the Clippers 102-89. That first quarter the game was tied, but then the Pacers kept building a lead, and even had the Clippers waving the towel around 2:00 minutes left in the fourth quarter as they pulled their starters from the game.
Do the Pacers get a win and get off that small losing streak?
Can’t say it enough but the depth of this team is such a great asset. George Hill stepped up and run this team well, even playing the whole fourth quarter. This brings up the question do the Pacers make a switch at point guard or maybe do a baseball pitcher type deal, where Darren Collison starts the game and George Hill will close the game? Don’t know how that would affect Collison if he loses the starting job, and I love having George Hill off the bench to provide the leadership role to the second unit. So the Pacers might just keep rolling with the same starters and Hill will play his role of back up and keep it going if he’s playing well.