If only the Pacers could play the Kings every night. Alas, they can’t, but the Pacers did finish a season sweep of the boys from Sactown, which is to be expected. Indiana finally got their record back at .500 and the Kings fell to somewhere south of .400. Poor Sacramento fans. Sike. They’re in California, so things could be worse. I look outside and it’s like 30 degrees. I watched Even Stevens when I was little, and it is always sunny in Sacramento. Anyway, on to the game grades. Today’s performance will be judged on a scale of ORNAMENTS.
If they don’t eclipse the 100 point mark, or win in blowout fashion, they aren’t going to earn a 4/5, but tonight’s performance was about as good as it gets. They shot just below what we’d like to see as a team, at 43.5%. The Pacers did make 9 three pointers and shot above their average from the charity stripe. They kept the turnovers to single digits, which is something that has been a problem for the Pacers. The Pacer have not been a very good passing team thus far, but they had assists on 27 of 37 made field goals, which is a testament to the inside-out game they were trying to impose on the Kings.
The Kings managed to outdo what most teams have managed to score against the Pacers, which isn’t such a bad thing. The Kings did not shoot terribly well from the field, but then again, nobody has this year against Indiana. I saw an interesting stat last night regarding opponents FG%. The Pacers lead the league, and the gap between #1 and #2 (Oklahoma City) is as wide as the gap between #2 and #20. That’s shocking, you guys. Teams simply cannot shoot against this team, and I attribute that to one Roy Denzil Hibbert’s anaconda arms.
George Hill and David West clearly led the way last night. They combined for 56 points and shot over 66% as a duo. That ain’t bad, y’all. Beyond those two, the starters weren’t in a scoring mood, per se. Paul George must’ve dunked his mitts in and ice bucket before the game because he was cold. He finished with 4 points on 2/11 shooting, but made up for it with 8 assists. If you aren’t hitting, set other people up. Lance Stephenson forgot to do the part where he sets other people up because he finished scoreless, and didn’t really stuff the stat sheet anywhere else. That Hibbert guy forgot how to play offense again, but altered enough shots in the paint to make his presence felt.
Sam Young, everybody. He’s the kind of guy every coach would like to have. Yeah, he may not be the most talented, and doesn’t actually do any one thing spectacularly, but he’s a hustler, homie. He’s feisty and gives 100% every single night. The rest of the bench didn’t contribute a whole lot offensively, but played well enough to win the game. They played conservatively, like their goal was to not screw this up. Last year, the Kings’ bench made a terrific comeback against the Pacers late in the game, and that was not going to happen last night.
Can’t ever be upset about a win. The Pacers were never really in danger of blowing this game, but it was never a sure thing. Against a bottom feeder like the Kings, after a day off, you’d like to see a dominant performance. I think this is the type of game where the Pacers really miss Danny Granger. In the first quarter, up by 7 and pulling away, the Pacers need a guy who can hit a dagger that completely demoralizes a team. That’s what Danny brought to this team. Until then, we all better get our hearts checked because there are going to be close calls against teams that shouldn’t be a problem. Ideally, the Pacers will continue to win games like this.