Lost amidst the feel-good win last night were the minimal minutes afforded second-year center, Roy Hibbert.
OK, I'm joking.
After absorbing my email box and some of the game-thread and post-game comments, Hibbert's playing time or lack thereof, seems to have sullied the win for some and certainly wasn't lost on anyone. So let me lay things out.
Prior to the game, Jim O'Brien discussed his intention to start Hibbert not only in the game last night but every game in an attempt to establish an advantage in the post. Against the Raptors, Hibbert would start defensively on Chris Bosh since the game plan was to double-team Bosh whenever he touched the ball. Easier said than done.
On Toronto's first possession, Bosh quickly drew Hibbert away from the basket and then up in the air, neither a good thing for Roy. Just like that, Bosh was at the free throw line and Hibbert had his first foul. Defensive execution in the first half was bad all-around so JOB scrapped the Hibbert on Bosh attempt and went in another direction.
Now there were times later on when Hibbert could've played and established something when Amir Johnson was in the game for Toronto. Why that didn't happen I have no idea. The Pacers did go through Hibbert on their first two possessions, the first of which ended in a strong baseline move from the big fella for a layup. But that was it for the night.
After the game, JOB had the win to deflect any issues with Hibbert's playing time, but he did mention his intent to use Hibbert in a "small" lineup that would have him playing alongside Danny Granger in the front court. That should be good news to those who've notice Hibbert's production decline while playing so much with Troy Murphy. Murphy by the way, was the right play last night, helping to spread the floor and keep the Pacers alive in the first half and finishing with 20 points and 16 rebounds. He even had a couple of blocked shots.
After the jump, tons of links from last night's win.
- Box score (with highlights)
- AP report: Pacers claw their way back to top Raptors 105-101
PACERS: Inside the Game: Pacers 105, Raptors 101
Bruno's inside the game report has all of the notes, quotes, numbers and highlights.
Pacers rally from 23 points down to beat Raptors
Mike Wells reports on the Pacers digging in defensively with their small lineup to complete not only a comback from 23 points down, but to actually hold on for the W.
Pacers rally from down 23 Points to Beat the Raptors 105-101
Jeremiah Johnson reports from the Fieldhouse with some quarter-by-quarter notes highlighting the key action. Great stuff!
Game Recap #37: Pacers Beat the Best National Basketball Association Team in Canada
Tom Kester offers up a nice recap of the action over at 8.9.
Raptors Rapid Recap - Indiana 105 - Toronto 101
Raptors HQ finds the Raptors' loss after leading by 23 points disgraceful. Also, a good comment on Hedo Turkoglu. That guy was in some type of slumber funk and his 3-ball attempts during crunch time were way off the mark.
Pacers' tidal wave too much for Raptors
The National Post reports on Toronto being overwhelmed by the Pacers' comeback with nothing left in the tank to respond.
Raptors implode in Indiana
Raptors Republic offers a thorough look at how it all went wrong for Toronto.
Pacers Notebook: O'Brien, Granger chat about 3s
Mike Wells has more on Jim O'Brien even questioning the amount of 3's Danny has taken lately, gambling on road trips and Dahntay's DNP-CD.
Challenging week on the rollercoaster
Bruno's Caught in the Web is now a daily must read for all Pacer fans.
NBA.com: Healthy Granger hopes to cure Pacers' painful season
Steve Aschburner takes a closer look at the positive impact the Pacers expect from a healthy Danny Granger.
The four factors of winning weren't so critical last night for the Pacers although if you divided them up by each half, the Pacers would've come out better.