After the Miami Heat fell to the Atlanta Hawks’ stellar zone defense and Tracy McGrady’s performance in the fourth quarter, I expected the Pacers to make it a contest down in South Beach when they took on the Heat team that was without Dwyane Wade.
Sadly, it didn’t happen. It was much much worse than that. Yes, the Pacers did play zone as it seemed like the legitimate shot to beat LeBron James and Chris Bosh. However, it didn’t work out so well. So many guys were left open…it was just an atrocity.
It led to the 118-83 loss, as the Pacers fall to 4-2 and the Heat improve to 6-1. The only good player of last night was Roy Hibbert, who had 16 points and twelve rebounds. Sadly, he wasn’t given the ball enough with Paul George, Danny Granger, and Darren Collison running around with it.
George had 13 points and Collison had ten with only…sigh…one assist. David West had nine points and four rebounds. But he got so many bad calls on him that it led to even a technical. Tyler Hansbrough did have 14 points, but was just flat-out awful. He only came up with his points basically when the game was already over.
But what really bothered me was Danny Granger. The guy has been in a slump, clearly, and isn’t playing at his All-Star like level like what we have seen for the past three seasons. This year, it just has looked ugly. He started off 1-of-8 and finished 2-of-13, including 1-of-7 from behind-the-arc. As we have seen from this season, Granger has been forcing his shots now and is just shooting too much. Listen, Danny, you’re no Kobe or Carmelo. You can’t shoot so much or make some of the shots that you attempt. In fact, at one point in the game when Granger shot, you could hear one player say, “Come on Danny!”, as he shot right away with about 20 seconds left on the shot clock. So far, the guy has been averaging 15.2 points a game with 5.3 rebounds. His field goal percentage is only about 32, much lower than his 44% career average. Things have not been looking good at all for him right now.
With that, the Pacers head into Boston tomorrow night at 7:30 to take on the Celtics. Hopefully, things can work out unlike it did last night. As we saw from zone defense, it wasn’t pretty. Guys were left open left and right. Hell, James Jones got twelve of his 14 points from open three’s. And don’t get me started with LeBron and Bosh, who played amazingly well. And with that, Indiana got destroyed…and they didn’t have Wade.
Can Indiana take on the challenge of the four-headed monster featuring Rondo, Garnett, Pierce, and Allen? We’ll see. But we know one thing for sure: if they’re gonna play zone, they’re gonna need to do a hell of a lot better than what they did yesterday.
Or then again, maybe not even play zone.
Just don’t do this ever again, please, Indy.