Friday, November 10, 2006

Pacers 93, Magic 83: No Easy Ws

After falling behind early, the Pacers gutted out a tough win against the Magic, 93-83. Here are some observations from the game tonight:

  • First, a humorous moment at Conseco Fieldhouse. During a break in the action, late in the second quarter a fan yelled to Grant Hill, "Hey Grant, how does it feel to play so late into the season?" Grant turned and yelled back, "It feels great!" much to the delight of the crowd in the lower level.
  • Pacers were down 32-27 after one quarter. They were down by as many as 10 and just couldn't get any stops.
  • All of that changed for the rest of the game. The defense carried the Pacers to their eventual victory by giving up 18, 13, and 20 over the last three quarters.
  • Danny Granger looks a lot more comfortable, especially on the offensive end. His problem is he's getting fouls called on him like he's a rookie. Since he guards the best scorer on the other team but doesn't get the ref respect of a good defender, he gets jobbed on a lot of touch fouls.
  • The Pacers benefited from several Magic missed free throws in the second half to stay close at the break. The Pacer reserves gave the team a boost on both ends of the floor.
  • The Pacers missed the last 12 FG attempts of the first half. The overall stats at the half showed a strong advantage to the Magic, yet somehow they were only up 3. Look at these numbers! With the missed FGs and the deficit in these areas I still can't figure out how the Pacers were still in this game at the half.
Free throws14/2410/11
Pts off TO160
Fast Brk Pts188

  • The FG drought continued into the second half until Al ended it at 16 straight missed FGs.
  • The defense continued to play well. Jameer Nelson single-handedly kept the Magic around in the third by draining pull up 18 foot jump shots. For some reason he took a rest at the end of the third and beginning of the fourth. While he was on the bench the Pacers caught fire and built up a lead.
  • Danny Granger and Al Harrington provided a lot of energy and scoring. In the fourth quarter the Pacers went on a 14-0 run to build a cushion they'd never relinquish.
  • Seemed like every basket made by the Magic in the second half was either a Jameer Nelson 18 footer or a Dwight Howard dunk. Howard is a beast but, JO used a little savvy to defend him. While he got his share of dunks to get 17 points, JO had him scouted to make him catch it where he had to put the ball on the floor. This led to 7 turnovers by Howard.

So, after three games in four days and another road game at Chicago tomorrow, the Pacers are 4-2. This is the third win they've had to grind out, wearing down their opponent to eventually win in the fourth quarter. Ws aren't rated for style so we'll take 'em any way we can get 'em.

(Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)

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