If only the Pacers could play the Kings every night. If the Pacers are going to schedule games at the same time as Monday Night Football, they are going to need a better showing than what we saw tonight in San Antonio. Conveniently, my fantasy football team has Doug Martin, so I didn’t have a good reason to watch the football game, but the Pacers did not make it easy. Going with my theme of using obscure objects to grade the game, tonight’s grades are on a scale of mangos.
I’m not a basketball coach, but I know some things. One of those things that I know is that turnovers are bad. Having twice as many turnovers as the opposition is really bad. It’s also hard to get any sort of offensive flow going when you shoot under 40%. Give credit to the Spurs defense, though, for forcing the Pacers into bad shot after bad shot.
Defense carried this team through the first 3 games of the season, but failed them on this evening. Indiana gave up 100+ points for the first time this season, which can’t happen when the leading scorer doesn’t play. San Antonio shot 47%, mostly on open jumpers. The Pacers failed to pick up open shooters, and when they did, they rotated too slowly, and allowed backdoor layups.
The starters were horrible. They shot about 33% from the field, didn’t rebound, and didn’t play defense. Roy Hibbert, in particular, played miserably. He was continuously out muscled by smaller players and looked like he’d never taken a hook shot in his life. Reminded me the fat white guy in the basketball scene in “Along Came Polly.” RAINMAKER!
Like the starters, the bench guys did the thing where they forget how to play basketball. Tyler Hansbrough took a shot to the head in the first quarter and looked like a spaz from then on. Gerald Green is a pretty decent shooter, but passed up open 3 after open 3. For whatever reason Lance Stephenson only saw the court for 9 minutes. From my livingroom, he didn’t look that bad, but apparently Franky Frank didn’t like what he saw. But hey, how bout that there Miles Plumlee block? Not too shabby.
The only reason this isn’t a fraction of a mango is because Danny Granger is hurt. I’m not one to make excuses when someone goes down with an injury, but I think this game showed something about the Pacers. What we learned tonight is that this team is not very good. Not without Granger. They spent the money on Hill and Hibbert, and extended George, but Granger is, and apparently always was, the key to this team’s success. Until Granger gets back, expect this team to squeak out wins against the bottom feeders of the NBA, and get smushed by good teams on the road. I’m getting a beer.