This is starting to feel normal. The Pacers out-working and out-executing an oponent, coming up big in crunch time to protect a lead and preserve a W. Tonight the Pacers ran out in front of the Memphis Grizzlies, then hung on in the fourth quarter to move to 3-0 on the season with a 121-111 win.
Here are some quick thoughts on the game.
- The Pacers and Grizz cranked up the offense early with a combined 71 points in the first quarter.
- The game wasn't the run and gun affair the score indicates. There was plenty of walking to the free throw line. The Pacers committed 38 fouls which set up 51 free throw attempts for the Grizz. Fortunately, they missed 14 of them. Love it when you get a W and have some serious work to do.
- Defense wasn't all bad though, clamping down for some key stops late in the game as the Grizz were creeping closer.
- Mike Dunleavy played with a swollen, bruised and stiched lip. Didn't seem to bother him though as he pumped in 27 points and grabbed 8 carroms.
- Danny Granger continued his consistent contributions with 23 points. Not a great shooting night from the floor, but he made 10 of 11 from the stripe.
- Darko Milicic is a monster. I know many have given up on him and he has a ways to go, but check in with him in 5 years. He'll be 27 and probably not Hall of Fame material, but I bet he's causing problems for opponents. Dude is huge and active.
- Jermaine O'Neal put in about 24 minutes and made a strong impact on the game. With this system, don't look to points and rebounds to judge J.O.'s play. He took four charges against the Grizz and ended up with team high +/- of +20. Pretty impressive for the limited minutes.
- O'B played all 12 players in the first half. Stephen Graham saw his first action as a Pacer late in the first half. He wasn't in there long but quickly tallied four points.
- Just thought of one other thing. On the post-game show, Denari mentioned that the Pacers have been tied or in the lead at the end of every quarter, half, and game so far this season. That's a pretty nice streak.
As always, please leave your thoughts on the game and the Pacers' 3-0 start. Sounds good, doesn't it?