Really happy with this win, but we tried really really hard to give it back. Glad they started this game awake though, didn’t give up 40 and weren’t down double digits in the first. Victory!
I don’t even know what to say about the 3 point line that hasn’t been said already. Drop coverage, going under screens, not switching, helping on penetration, having a foot in the paint away from the ball on the backside… we can’t keep doing that, the game is not played the same anymore. Every one can hit open 3s these days. Except Charlotte centers, because Cliff will never allow it.
Ok, elephant in the room, Melo is still getting back into form and all that. But he needs to start stringing together winning plays. He made an outstanding winning play on defense to close, BUT, that shouldn’t have been necessary in the first place.
We were up 118-110, they were slumping, a winning play would be to make sure we get a great look at the basket, maybe draw a foul, or work some clock and whip it around to tire them out. But he took a deep 28 footer early in the clock, which led to their break and hitting a 3. Instead of getting to double figures and grinding them out, they get new life.
Next possession we fail, they get another 3 and now its a tossup.
Another play, we’re up 3 I think, instead of burning clock, he rushes towards the basket. This is on PJ too, instead of pulling it back out, they try to get to the basket, out of bounds on us.
Then calling timeout when Miller was getting fouled. We’re ahead, accept the fouls, he was in no danger of getting tied up.
And of course, on the inbounds, great job getting open going down court. But keep the ball in your hands, they are coming to foul you. Instead kicks ahead to PJ who in his 5th year should know better than try to score on a guarded basket and lose it out of bounds.
It’s why the saying Keep It Simple Stupid exists. We were in control, but we gave them the ball with a chance to win instead of salting it away on free throws.
Anyway, was great that they came back after the 3 point barrage. Mark was awesome, did not feel like 27 points, but damn. Loved the block party in the first half. And Hayward definitely loves Indiana, maybe the Pacers will fall in love with him and make a trade.
Sucks about Terry, he looked like he was in the best shape of his life. That groin injury looked like multiple weeks. I never pulled one, but most hamstrings and quads take 2-3 weeks. Hope thats all it is.