Look at that box score.
For one night at least, Jim O'Brien let the Pacers' young players run wild. Granted it was almost by default with Troy Murphy, Tyler Hansbrough and Jeff Foster out and Mike Dunleavy and T.J. Ford playing like they had nothing in the tank.
But still, while the Memphis Grizzlies were methodically rolling along to a victory, at least we saw some energy and effort out of the bench. Even a couple of career games with Luther Head and Roy Hibbert showing up big. Brandon Rush also played a solid second half and continues to shoot the ball well. Still not aggressive enough, but at least some shots are falling.
Essentially, the young guys made this game watchable in the second half and no doubt kept the crowd at Conseco engaged to see what they could do. Hopefully this will be a trend for the rest of the year. If the vets don't have it, turn it over to the bench and let the youngs guys finish things off.
If nothing else, it might shake up a roster that needs to be shaken. Mike Wells had a quote from Dahntay Jones that I hope is an indication of a wakeup call.
"We have to assess ourselves and be honest," he (Jones) said. "Certain people are not fighting as hard as others. We have to find a way to bring it every night."
Maybe seeing the way the young guys played together and the reaction they received from the crowd, a crowd starved for effort, energy and teamwork, will impact the vets. Whether that reaction is good or bad, I don't care, just some type of reaction. Beg for a trade. Complain about playing time. Better yet, step up and lead and show some enthusiasm when a good play is made. Show a pulse and some indication that your invested or get out of the way.
Doesn't seem like too much to ask.
After the jump, a bundle of links from the game last night.
- Box Score
- AP Report: Gay, Grizzlies hand Pacers 8th straight loss
PACERS.com: Inside the Game report
The starters vs. bench numbers continue to mount into confounding differentials regardless of who starts.
Hibbert, Head lead rally as Pacers starters sit
Mike Wells reports on the loss and Jim O'Brien finally giving in and letting the young players play heavy minutes in place of his unproductive veterans.
Memphis Grizzlies knock off Indiana Pacers, 121-110
Ronald Tillery reports on the win for the Griz as the team has turned it around, they're now lamenting some wins they let slip away earlier in the season.
Pacers Notebook: Murphy, Hansbrough miss game with injury and illness
Sounds like Murph will be out through the weekend games. Also, Tinsley is figuring out this whole team thing now that he's back in the league.
Game #31 Recap: Points? Check. Good FG%? Check. Boards? Check. Defense? Not So Much
Jared Wade recaps the loss last night which certainly can't be blamed on the offense.
Postgame: Grizzlies 121, Pacers 110
Ronald Tillery wraps things up for Memphis including Jamaal Tinsley enjoying his team's win in the face of the boos he heard.
Pacers Insider: O'Brien sends a message
Mighty Mike blogs about the youth movement JOB went with last night and the lack of playing chemistry with the team.
Grizzlies Win Ugly in Indiana | 3 Shades of Blue
Matthew Noe recaps the Griz side of things ove at 3 Shades of Blue.
SB Nation's NBA Power Rankings: Beware The Rising Cavaliers
...and the sinking Pacers. Mike Prada offers up SB Nation's latest power rankings with the Pacers checking in at 29. Thank you, Nets!
Advanced Stat Talk: What XeFG% from the Bulls Game Tells Us About Indy’s Offensive Futility
Tim Donahue goes to extraordinary lengths to verify that the Pacers don't shoot very well. Raises the interesting point that if the team is getting shots where they'd like them but the shots aren't falling, who's to blame other than the shooters. I recall JOB expecting the shooting percentages to comeback at some point, and when the team won a couple of games, surprise, they made shots. But this is getting ridiculous.