The Pacers didn't have to do anything extraordinary to beat the Sixers on opening night and as a team, the Pacers were at their best when no one strayed from their lane to try to impact the game on an individual basis.
The end result was six players scoring in double figures while shooting 47% from the floor. Roy Hibbert had a big game with 22 points, 8 rebounds and 7 blocks but he let the game come to him early and then asserted himself without trying to do too much.
Frank Vogel like the team approach which is always a point of emphasis -- to play within the system and play for each other. It also helped that they were playing the Sixers. Hibbert in particular will find his challenge ramp up on Friday when he has to encounter Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph in the paint with Memphis.
At least in the first couple of weeks of the season, the Pacers will live and die by their perimeter shooting prowess, and on Wednesday night they were able to live with enough hot streaks to put away the W.
Here are a few other thoughts from the Fieldhouse along with a few links:
- Hibbert's seven blocks were the third-most for a player on NBA Opening Night. Anthony Davis set the record on Tuesday with nine blocks.
- Donald Sloan and Rodney Stuckey played a combined 50 minutes and delivered 32 points, 11 assists and 13 rebounds. The point guard scoring threat from the preseason carried over to the regular season.
- Sloan's effort was his first career double-double which included a career-highs with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
- C.J. Miles struggled shooting early, making just one of eight shots in the first half before finding his stroke in the third quarter to finish with 15 points. Miles admitted he was a little too hyped to begin the game and rushing his looks but used his experience to realize he would settle in to a rhythm eventually.
- Miles' night is indicative of how the Pacers as a whole will fare, at least until George Hill and C.J. Watson return. They will earn some surprising wins on nights when shots are just dropping. On the other end, there will be some head-shaking losses with the lid is on the basket. Finding easy buckets just won't be easy for this team when they play some actual NBA teams.
- Lavoy Allen had six points, five rebounds and two blocks in 20 minutes off the bench, but filled in nicely in the front court rotation. The Pacers were +23 with Allen on the floor and in a 10-man rotation, I can see Allen remaining in the mix by taking few minutes from Luis Scola and Ian Mahinmi.
- The Pacers held the Sixers below 30% shooting in the second half including a 24% FG percentage in the fourth quarter.
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Instant replay: Pacers 103, Sixers 91 | WFNI ESPN 1070 the Fan | Indy's SportsCenter
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