Fear abating....optimism rising....I feel good. I'm still concerned with the amount of minutes Roy can play night in, and night out. He's been like...I don't???...an All-star lately. He's still got a few more games like tonight to make up for his post-all-star 9 game collapse. DC had a great game tonight against the Heat...but Wade wasn't going to leave George to focus on DC and otherwise I think this is a favorable matchup for him, but Darren played well regardless...on both ends of the floor. Anyway, let me extend my love for the win over Miami.
Lebron's hand was hurting I guess, but I still saw him dribbling HARD with both hands so I can't say that was why he had a moderately quiet night. We 'D'd him up. He wasn't going to beat us. We played the big 3 as good as they can be played while not allowing the rest of their role players to just get whatever they wanted. The defense tonight was beyond impressive (would be even better if somehow we could cut the fouls...but at least the fouls were hard enough to prevent And1s on most trips to the line).
We had some luck tonight for sure. A few lucky bounces, an uncommonly balanced game from the officials considering the superstar opponent, and the Heat didn't shoot all that well from the line. But, we won by 15 and if you were to say the Pacers were lucky??? We created our own luck tonight. Every single player played at least a good game, most played great.
We had 20 assists. It seemed like 50 assists b/c we moved the ball so well. There were great passes, that led to great passes, that led to a great shot. 10-18 from behind the arc is something that won't happen most nights, but they were all good looks, and we had plenty of good looks, close in, that were in-and-out. And Miami still shot 40% from 3 which any team would take most nights. We out rebounded them by 16. I don't think I've seen the Pacers play against this good of a team, and remain as controlled and intense and fearless since...since the Reggie era of the late 90's.
If Roy can play that consistently with effort, comfort, and control, he'll be our rock that we've been expecting. Danny, West, DC...even Hansbrough and Lou made some great passes tonight. The decision making is what really made the difference. They were all quick, smart, insanely precise decisions. Blew my freaking mind. That hasn't been our strength this year. If we can keep that up? Watch out. We had 20 assists, not really all that much by NBA standards, but pace adjusted, I'd say we had enough assists tonight...if we played like that all the time...we'd be top 10 pace adjusted in the league. We had 20 assists and no one had more than 4. That's how we need to play. Get the ball down the court quick, look for your shot, look for someone else's shot, if it's not there, reset, and do it again...quickly. No one was at risk of getting the 5 second call tonight that's for sure. No one on our team deserves to be force fed the ball against good opponents (Milwuakee was an exception in my mind where Roy deserved to be fed). We need to keep moving the ball and moving without the ball.
Right now, with the upcoming sched. we should be able to really build on this experience tonight. Build on our confidence and keep it rolling. We are facing two very beatable, poor defensive teams back-to-back after some rest tomorrow (which we need after tonight's effort) and then we get to re-test ourselves against a team with no more talent than us in the Spurs. If we can beat a deep, well coached team like that on the road? Forget about it. We won't be favored, but we should have the confidence, the game plan, and the versatility/depth to challenge any team, any night.
I'm still concerned with maintaining this energy level (especially for our starting big men and Danny) and our focus and decision making (especially for Danny, DC, Hansbrough, and PG). Tonight, n a near 200 possession game we had an astonishingly low amount of mental errors (I counted maybe 3) against such a good team???? I just can't bring myself to dwell on any of my concerns. I still have my concerns. But, our play since the Knicks home@home series (even the last of the two wasn't bad) has me thinking that this team might just have if figured out now.
Keep it rolling fellas. Nice win tonight for our boy, Coach Foster. BTW, didn't he sound like a future coach with his commentary? I love it.