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Divisional Battle: Indiana Pacers

Essentials

  • Teams: Indiana Pacers (12-11) at Detroit Pistons (7-18)
  • Date: December 15, 2012
  • Time: 7:30 p.m.
  • Television: FSD

What to look for

After winning back-to-back games against the Cavaliers and 76ers at home, the Indiana Pacers will be coming to town to face off against a Pistons team that’s lost three in a row.

The Pacers have played their entire season without the services of Danny Granger, who has been sidelined with a knee injury. His absence has put a pretty huge spotlight on Paul George, who up until recently seemed to struggle with the burden of potentially becoming a leading scorer in some capacity.

The Fresno State product is the team’s second leading scorer, but has only shot 42.1 percent from the field this year.

Pacers fans might be disappointed with George’s output this season, but he has been lights out recently and has rewarded their faith in him. In his last five games, the 6’8’’ forward has been more aggressive in creating shots for himself and it’s translated into 23.2 points per game on 50 percent field goal shooting and 59.4 percent 3-point shooting.

What’s interesting about George’s impressive scoring recently is how it ties in with Roy Hibbert’s presence on the court. The former Hoya has been abysmal from the floor this season, converting only 37.5 percent of his field goal attempts, which hardly makes him a viable candidate to see consistent double teams.

But his size is a huge benefit to his teammates because of the amount of space that he clears with his ball screens. Consequently, defenders have to rotate and spend an extra second on the ball handler to ensure he does not get into the lane, and it opens up the perimeter. It’s worth noting that Indiana’s spacing isn’t always great, but Hibbert’s screening allows his teammates to get a plethora of open looks.

Indeed, according to NBA.com’s advanced stats tool, the Indiana Pacers score 86.3 points per game on 39.7 percent field goal shooting per 48 minutes with the Georgetown product on the bench, and 92.3 points per game on 43.1 percent field goal shooting per 48 minutes.

If we dig deeper and look at George’s numbers in conjunction with Hibbert, it paints a much clearer picture of the big man’s importance to the Pacers forward: NBA.com tells us that in 210 minutes played without the 7’2’’ center, George is converting 38.9 percent of his shots from the field, but in 607 minutes of shared court time, his accuracy improves to 44.1 percent from the field.

How big of a difference is that you ask?

Well in terms of efficiency, George is Luol Deng with Roy Hibbert on the court and Michael Beasley with him off it; which in truth sounds completely preposterous.

With that said, the Indiana Pacers are still a team that struggles to put up points on the board because of their occasional poor spacing but also because they lack the necessary high percentage shot creators other than perhaps David West.

For all the talk about how Hibbert provides some relief to the rest of the team offensively because of his screening, he was still tendered a fairly lucrative contract in the offseason because of his ability to clog the paint defensively and score on the low block last season.

His ability to change games defensively is still present, whereas whatever offensive skill he possessed last season seems to have taken the route of the Monstars from Space Jam. As ridiculous as that line sounds, according to Hoopdata, the Pacers’ starter is converting 42.1 percent of his shots directly at the rim this season.

For the sake of perspective, Allen Iverson’s worst shooting figure from the same distance came three years before he retired, when he converted 51 percent of his shots at the basket. Did I mention that the Answers was listed at a generous 6’0’’?

In a nutshell, these are some of issues that the Indiana Pacers have dealt with on the offensive side of the ball so far this season. It may behoove the Pistons to force Roy Hibbert to make multiple defensive rotations per possession to get him off the court to force Indiana to run their offense without the benefit of their best screener, which would undoubtedly make it tougher for them to score.

Read about the Pacers

8 points, 9 seconds.

Statistical support provided by NBA.com.

56 Comments

  • Dec 15, 20126:49 pm
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    Normally, I’d like to see the Pistons really get out and run…just dont know about those legs after last night double OT …

    but Knight on back to back games have been really good 22ppg 52% shooting 54% for 4′s 4.5rebs 4.5 ast…

    But im convinced that when Singler can effectively shoot and score the ball…we are just a much, much better team. Singler has to find his stroke
     

    • Dec 15, 20129:56 pm
      by ZekeKhaseli

      Reply

      I guess the stats speak for itself. Jason Maxiell is not a starter (and thats not news folks)
       

  • Dec 15, 20127:38 pm
    by ZekeKhaseli

    Reply

    Why are they showing Jason Maxiell clips before the game? Common FOX sports. 

    • Dec 15, 20128:07 pm
      by gmehl

      Reply

      Hey as much as i really want Drummond to start you need to lay off Max. Max has been giving his all this year so maybe you should vent your frustrations towards the other deadwood on this team.

      • Dec 15, 20128:45 pm
        by I HATE FRANK

        Reply

        He is play VERY HARD… but because its a contract year…its kind of expected…. But i take nothing away from him and his work ethic…

        But its Drummond time….

         

        • Dec 15, 20128:56 pm
          by gmehl

          Reply

          I agree its Drummond time but it doesn’t mean Max should be disrespected or ridiculed. There are other guys that that stuff should be aimed at…cough cough Daye cough cough Maggette

          • Dec 15, 20129:52 pm
            by PG

            Agreed. Its ridiculous how fans hated Maxiell because he got more playing time than Drummond. The person to be blamed here is Frank. He choose who starts and who sits not Maxiell who just plays hard at the moment. 

          • Dec 15, 201211:20 pm
            by I HATE FRANK

            Maxiell would be GREAT! as the first BIG off the bench!

            But Drummond has earned the right to play much more than Maxiell….

            Once again, I appreciate Maxiell.. but its not his time… 

        • Dec 15, 201211:55 pm
          by jacob

          Reply

          We could be playing him a lot because we don’t want to overuse Drummond. Let’s not burn him out like Singler. Also the better Maxiell plays, and the more he playes against other teams starters, the more he will be worth to trade.

      • Dec 15, 20129:58 pm
        by tTOPS

        Reply

        gmehl speaks the truth.  max has been working his a** off.

        • Dec 15, 20129:59 pm
          by ZekeKhaseli

          Reply

          Gmel and tTops. Did you even watch this game? Max is playing horrible here

          • Dec 15, 201210:56 pm
            by gmehl

            I never said Max was/wasn’t playing great atm. He’s had a good season and has been giving his all. I really just hope Max does a Stuckey and tells Frank to start Drummond. It will be the best thing for the team and even Max himself. The sooner he gets used to being 1st big off the bench then Joe can then see if its worth offering him another (reasonable) deal next season if there is money left over.

  • Dec 15, 20128:23 pm
    by gmehl

    Reply

    6 minutes to go in the 2nd quarter and Drummond is almost out rebounding all 5 of our starters. Starters 7 rebounds…Drummond 6 rebounds. 

  • Dec 15, 20128:51 pm
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    George and Greg are two of the better Game Commentary guys in the business… 

  • Dec 15, 20128:58 pm
    by gmehl

    Reply

    So with Hibbert out the rest of this game you’d think we’d give the ball to Monroe down low and let him go to work. If not then i would be dumbfounded.

    • Dec 15, 20129:05 pm
      by I HATE FRANK

      Reply

      Monroe is doing a good job…

  • Dec 15, 20129:03 pm
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    gotta love the way Maxiell has bounced back from his poor rebounding performance last Night

  • Dec 15, 20129:06 pm
    by gmehl

    Reply

    Ok now West has 4 fouls and Hibbert is gone for the game…keep pumping the pill down low

  • Dec 15, 20129:08 pm
    by gmehl

    Reply

    Drummond makes shit happen

    • Dec 15, 20129:20 pm
      by I HATE FRANK

      Reply

      one day he is going to realize … their is no one else like me in the NBA

      • Dec 15, 20129:27 pm
        by gmehl

        Reply

        Yeah i am guessing Tyler never got that memo… the one that says ‘no one fly’s in the house of Drummond’

  • Dec 15, 20129:22 pm
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    why are we leaving the shooters???? we have two shot blockers in the game

  • Dec 15, 20129:34 pm
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    Maxiel is doing nothing… Monroe over even Charlie V should have been in the game to replace Maxiell….WAY earlier… Frank and his loyalty 

  • Dec 15, 20129:35 pm
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    we double the basketball for NO REASON!

  • Dec 15, 20129:37 pm
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    Oh Well… 

  • Dec 15, 20129:47 pm
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    Tired legs or not Frank sat Monroe way too long… Monroe and Drummond should have played the entire 4th qrt….

    Im sorry…. Poor Coaching… he had the size advantage… and they didnt have a stretch 4 on the Floor either…

    Monroe is 22 and Drummond is 19… they are young

     

    • Dec 15, 20129:58 pm
      by ZekeKhaseli

      Reply

      See. How ridiculous Frank’s love to Maxiell is?

      • Dec 15, 201211:57 pm
        by jacob

        Reply

        Maybe Joe D is making him play Maxiell.

  • Dec 15, 20129:49 pm
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    would have been a nice game to use Jonas, and Slava…even would have been nice to have English….

     

  • Dec 15, 20129:50 pm
    by vic

    Reply

    That was just a good old fashioned loss. They were sufficiently better than us, and strong in our weak areas.

    Unlike the Nets game last night, that was winnable. 

  • Dec 15, 20129:56 pm
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    Tonight was winnable….I know we were tired….

    BUT!!!!!!

    Monroe was killing them,and Drummond was Killing them….

    West had 4 fouls…. the moment you take Monroe out the game West was in no danger of picking just another foul…..

    Monroe came back into the game too late, and Drummond should have never came out…

    Knight and Singler shots were not falling.. it was all the more reason to stay big…

    I dont care that we loss, but I care that its the same poor rotation decision…

    I care that we are still double teaming the basketball…when we should have just stayed in a man to man set…

    I care that we have not improved as a team since last year…. 

    • Dec 15, 201210:13 pm
      by gmehl

      Reply

      Its time to start Drummond and change our defensive strategy. We are not quick and athletic enough to play the way we have been. This much is clear as evidenced by a couple of things:

      our record
      the amount of times our guys not switching quick enough
      points scored in the paint
      points scored on us per game.

      Frank needs to swallow his pride and make some changes because before he knows it the decision will be made for him and he will be gone. The teams strategy needed to e made around the players we have not just how the coach wants us to play.

  • Dec 15, 20129:58 pm
    by ZekeKhaseli

    Reply

    Look at the forum. It’s empty. Thanks Frank

  • Dec 15, 201210:04 pm
    by ZekeKhaseli

    Reply

    I’m just so sick and tired of blaming the coach. FIRE FRANK!

  • Dec 15, 201210:05 pm
    by gmehl

    Reply

    We had 11 more shots than they did and they won by 11. This game like a lot of our losses this season was lost with our defensive game plan. This switching defence we play is not the right thing for this team. We are not quick enough on our rotations which was obvious to see with Hill left open various times all by himself. The Pacers are a good team but we should of won that game. Monroe should of taken over that 4th quarter as Hibbert was out injured and West had 4 fouls. I can’t remember exactly how it went down but when they went on a 12-0 run in the 4th it was a Max miss, Tay miss, Knight miss. Poor management by Frank at the end of that game.

    • Dec 15, 201210:12 pm
      by I HATE FRANK

      Reply

      The switching defense is HORRIBLE!  even at its best…we still are give up open shots…at its best..we double players who are NO THREAT AT SCORING THE BALL, its Best! it still create lanes to drive the ball…

       

      • Dec 15, 201210:15 pm
        by gmehl

        Reply

        Any opposition coach would be just preaching the importance of fast ball movement and be patient and hit the open g

        • Dec 15, 201210:19 pm
          by gmehl

          Reply

          Any opposition coach would be just preaching the importance of fast ball movement and be patient and hit the open guy when playing against us. 1st we give up open shots on the outside and then we double high and then the ball gets thrown down low where they start hitting uncontested shots. If i have to watch this pitiful defence any longer i am going to bust a brain vessel. It is very un-piston like having to see how bad a defensive team we are now. 

          • Dec 15, 201210:23 pm
            by I HATE FRANK

            I be screaming at the TV STAY WITH YOUR MAN!…. but they chase the ball everytime…

            I love Drummond but in every Post-Game he calls every team a GREAT TEAM!… 

      • Dec 15, 201210:25 pm
        by I HATE FRANK

        Reply

        Clippers coming to town….

        That Switching Defense is gonna get us blown out …CP3 is gonna eat it alive 

  • Dec 15, 201210:08 pm
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    This season does not even matter to me…until Drummond is getting 30+ minutes consistently…

    At this point its foolishness for Frank not to play Drummond 30+, its Foolishness for Dumars to not suggest that Drummond should be playing 30+, and Its Foolishness that GORE is so Clueless that he has not told Dumars, to Tell Frank that its Now Drummonds time

    • Dec 16, 20124:15 pm
      by Chris H

      Reply

      You sure it’s not buffoonery? Someone had to say it.

  • Dec 15, 201210:16 pm
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    8:23 mark 2 point game…. 

    But you dont bring Monroe back into the game until…5:13 down 7…

    And you Sub out Drummond!

    Frank Post-Game is pissing me off… 

  • Dec 15, 201210:20 pm
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    David West had 4 FOULS!!!! He was their most effective play… Name another coach that would no attack WEST?

    • Dec 15, 201210:55 pm
      by vic

      Reply

      that’s true…
      PFs are our biggest weakness, but the least you can do is attack them back, especially if they had 4 fouls, he shouldn’t have taken over the game. 

      • Dec 15, 201211:23 pm
        by I HATE FRANK

        Reply

        and its not like Monroe spends alot on energy on defense

  • Dec 15, 201210:24 pm
    by gmehl

    Reply

    Hey but remember ’we have to stay with the process’…the process of keeping our 1st rounder i guess. I don’t know… maybe Stern has told Dumars that Shabazz is ours!

    • Dec 15, 201210:27 pm
      by I HATE FRANK

      Reply

      LOL.. we will re-sign Maggette and Shabazz will get a chance to learn behind him

      • Dec 15, 201210:43 pm
        by gmehl

        Reply

        Ha ha yeah.. learn how to block a position as an over the hill veteran

        • Dec 15, 201210:46 pm
          by I HATE FRANK

          Reply

          thats he “PROCESS”

          • Dec 15, 201210:52 pm
            by gmehl

            I don’t like to whine like i have the last couple of games but i really just feel that this team isn’t as bad as what we are. We just don’t play the correct offence and defence that suits this team. This begins and ends with one Lawrence Frank. He is the coach and it is up to him to change/adapt if things aren’t working.

  • Dec 15, 201211:00 pm
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    Frank Preaches about “Earning Minutes” and he talks about players having to respect the process and so when they look around the locker room they know the players getting minutes have earned it, and it wasnt just given to him.

    In December

    Maxiell: 9ppg 40% shooting 2.4 blks 7rebs in 30 minutes
    Drummond: 7ppg  61% shooting 1.6blk 7rebs in 20 minutes…

    An im not going to take anything away from Maxiell …. but its time…. 
     

  • Dec 15, 201211:25 pm
    by Mark

    Reply

    idk, I hate losing, but now that we are 26 games in I see how much we lack that star G/F, having the worst record in the league is starting to look like a good thing. If we could add Muhammed to this young core, OMG.

    I just want to see games like tonight where Drummond gets 30 min and a lot  of them w/ Monroe and Knight, and then if they win its great exp, if they lose its still great exp AND one step closer to adding Muhammed to the mix with them next year. 

    Thats a win-win in my book. 

  • Dec 15, 201211:57 pm
    by Day and Knight

    Reply

    Archie Goodwin FTW! We suck but I doubt we end up with the first pick otherwise bring on Shabaaz!! 

    • Dec 16, 201212:54 am
      by Mark

      Reply

      I’ll take either. I doubt we end up worst too, but the worst team usually doesnt win the lotto anyways. If we finish bottom 5 we have a chance

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