Well, Roy Hibbert had 20 points and 5 blocked shots. That's pretty good, right?
Let's see, what else went well...yeah, I guess that's about it.
The Indiana Pacers simply had one of those nights and to make matters worse it was one of those preseason nights with a short-handed roster, as the Orlando Magic ran away and hid in the second half handing the Pacers a 117-87 loss.
At full strength, the Pacers have a talent deficit against the Magic, thus having to play harder and make shots to give themselves a chance. Tonight the Pacers had no chance. A second quarter dry spell by the Magic kept the Pacers in the game, but once the Magic got it going again, the Pacers had nothing for them.
Regardless of how the Pacers rate on the effort meter, the shots simply weren't falling, especially from 3-land where the Pacers were just 2-23 from behind the arc. Simple formula: When the Pacers make threes they're dangerous, when they don't they're road kill. Screeeeeeetch...thud.
Afer the jump, a few more thoughts on what we heard from Orlando.
- T.J. Ford and Luther Head joined Mike Dunleavy, Tyler Hansbrough and Travis Diener in street clothes. Jeff Foster was also out of uniform resting his back, but he put on the headset and played the role of analyst for Mark Boyle's play-by-play call.
- Danny Granger is back in preseason form, struggling to make shots. After his 3-12 effort tonight, Granger is a balky has made just 12 of 35 shots in the last two games. In his defense, Granger's minutes were sporadic in Orlando especially in the first half and he wasn't looking for his shot finishing the first half with one point. We saw how easily he scored earlier in the preseason, so there's no reason to think he won't be ready to fire on all cylinders once the bright lights come on for the regular season.
- The Pacers poor shooting wasn't just from behind the arc. They also struggled from behind the charity stripe, making just 14 of 23 freebies. Meanwhile, the Magic didn't shoot much better but with 26 more FTAs the ended the game outscoring the Pacers by 20 from the line.
- All of those foul shots were compliments of 32 Indiana fouls. Solo Jones and Granger fouled out while Murph and Hibbert finished with 5 fouls each, most of which were on Vince Carter and Dwight Howard as they attacked the Pacers' soft interior.
- Brandon Rush came out with a strong effort at the offensive end. At one point in the first half, Rush and Hibbert were 9-17 from the field while the rest of the team was 5-23. A poor shooting night on the perimeter kept Rush's numbers in check though.
- Not a big fan of point guard Earl Watson nearly matching the rebound total of Hibbert and Solo Jones combined. Watson had six rebounds compared to three for Hibby and four for Solo. Foster blamed the lack of boards on a lot of long misses, but that's a bit too easy on the big boys. There were plenty of rebounds of all types. Just another problem area the Pacers couldn't overcome.
- Foster had a tough time loosening up in his role as radio analyst, but improved through the second half. His monotone delivery is great for subtle digs, but at first he was just repeating the play that Boyle had called. He found his voice in the second half though and never shied away from pointing out the Pacers' problems. He did have a good line early when he observed that Magic reserve point guard Jason Williams must've spent his year off last year getting arm tattoos.