Only two games this past week for the Indiana Pacers as they headed into the All-Star Break. But we can look at those two games and how the two Pacer players fared in the All-Star Competitions they were a part of. Gerald Green went after another Slam Dunk Title, and Paul George gort his first taste of the three point competition. Both guys didn’t fare too well, which seems to be the story of Indiana Pacers and All-Star Weekends. The team as a whole had a 1-1 week with their first loss at home in sixteen games coming on Monday night, and then a win going away against the Charlotte Bobcats.
Looking deeper into Monday’s loss it came at the hands of the Brooklyn Nets, who have got the Pacers two times this season. If the Pacers fall into that fourth or fifth spot, they would probably play the Nets. That doesn’t look like the best match up for this team. Brook Lopez outplayed fellow center Roy Hibbert in Monday’s loss for the Pacers. That loss came without Deron Williams, which is a bit scary to think about as well. The Nets rolling along with one of the top point guards. Now that’s something to think about. Lopez had his way with Hibbert in the post and was able to step outside for some jump shots. The Nets were able to control the Pacers after getting back into the game late, and that’s something the Pacers will have to figure out, why are they losing the late leads. It could have been the lack of focus as the team was ready for the break. It could have been just an overall lack of focus. Now with some rest before this coming Wednesday’s game with the New York Knicks, hopefully the Pacers won’t lose those late leads like they did against the Toronto Raptors and Brooklyn Nets.
All-Star Saturday night featured Paul George and Gerald Green. Paul George didn’t do so hot in the three point contest as it looked like it’s better for him to shoot three’s coming off screens and shooting in a rhythm. With this type of contest, you’re more of the set shooter, and that’s not George’s game, but it could give him something to work on.
Gerald Green did come out on fire with a dunk that garnered 50 points, but then failed on the second dunk, and was only able to score 32. Not nearly enough to move on, and yet another instance of the Pacers just not performing well in these competitions. All the years I’ve been a fan of the Pacers, I would have loved for them to take a title or two in these type of events, but I know they’re never the type of players that can compete well in these. Fred Jones won the Slam Dunk Title back in the early 2000′s, but even a guy like Reggie Miller never fared well in the three point contest. These Pacer players are work harders, and never flashy. They get the job done they way they can play.
But now we’ll look ahead to what lies in the horizon for the Pacers as a team. They’ll have to get back to action come Wednesday night with a tough game against the Knicks. Playing at home after the break should help energize the team, and possibly getting back Danny Granger in the line up should help matters. We’re all ready to see what Granger has in the tank after not playing this whole season. Even an 80% Granger is probably better than no Granger at all. He brings that leadership and toughness at times that this team can use. Time to get back to work for the Blue and Gold, and let’s finish this season strong.