(Photo: AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
An eighth straight loss seemed like a formality just prior to the opening tip. That's when the Pacers were able to sneak in one more bit a bad news, that Jamaal Tinsley would not play because the team suspended him for conduct detrimental to the team. Not other details at this time, but Carlisle made sure to clarify that the suspension had nothing to do with Tinlsey's off court problems. I'm thinking it had to be his 3-point percentage. That has certainly been detrimental to the team lately.
So, add another suspension to the fact that Jermaine O'Neal and Marquis Daniels were also out and a win seemed improbable at best. But the Pacers went with what they had and played a hard fought 48 minutes. In the end, Philly leaned on their athletic advantage and ran by the Pacers for the win, 100-96. Pretty hard to make any observations about the team with the depleted roster, but there were some performances worth noting:
- The Pacers improved their league worst FG% by shooting over 50%. After watching the last few games, it was nice to see so many shots falling. Murphy and Dunleavy both shot the ball well and Danny Granger even got it going a little in the second half.
- Philly was quite opportunistic and really looked to take advantage of their athletic players. Any miss or turnover by the Pacers always seemed to end with a Sixer streaking down the court and getting a long pass to try and beat the Pacers back. Willie Green and Andre Iguodala were usually running and Andre Miller was usually pushing a pass up to them.
- On one of those leak outs, Kyle Korver was going in for a layup and Danny Granger made like Tayshaun Prince and came flying down the court to swat the layup. Reggie Miller was sitting courtside, so I'm sure that play created a flashback for ol' #31.
- David Harrison played a few minutes and was pretty active. Dude is looking svelte and the lost baggage certainly makes him appear quicker in the post.
- Ike Diogu played quite well at times, finishing with 17 points and 7 boards. He had a couple of travel calls, but all in all he had a nice game. Keep giving him minutes and a chance to grow.
- Oriene Green played his best game as a Pacer mainly for bringing a defensive presence on the floor. He played a lot of shooting guard and in the second half was able to slow down sharp shooting Kyle Korver when it looked like he was going to start lighting it up.
- Pacers head to Cleveland tomorrow night to take on the hot Cavs and LeBron James. Tinsley will be with the team and available to play tomorrow. Not sure it will matter.