Frank Vogel was impressed with how well the Grizzlies closed out their win over the Pacers making the right read on possession after possession to get good shots which they were able to convert. No surprise from a veteran team with a core of players that know each other well.
Unfortunately, the Pacers didn't look like they were reading the same book, let alone on the same page down the stretch as they often settled for a shot everyone hoped would go in. It is nice to have options, but the Pacers are painfully trying to figure out which options work best in which combination and that includes crunch time as Paul George and Monta Ellis aren't making enough shots to be considered the go-to-guys.
The L wasn't a total loss since the Pacers showed promise in plenty of spurts throughout the game. None more than when rookie first-round pick, Myles Turner made his NBA debut late in the first quarter. After breaking a sweat, a 25-second stretch of play flashed all of Turner's potential for the Fieldhouse faithful to enjoy.
But the Pacers came to life in the final two minutes, as rookie Myles Turner provided the spark in his NBA debut. The highlight sequence included swallowing up shot at the rim by JaMychal Green. Literally just smothered the shot to create a jump ball.
After winning the tip, Turner chased behind Monta Ellis and followed up a miss with a putback dunk for his first NBA points (see below). Then back on the defensive end, Turner rose up to snare another rebound. In 18 minutes, the rook finished with 8 points, 4 rebounds and added a block and steal.
Turner said he felt comfortable early after realizing he made the correct rotations on defense and was doing his job. But scoring his first NBA points in stylish fashion was pretty sweet.
"It felt like a statement," Turner said. "With it being a tip dunk that was a cool way to get my first two points."
Vogel plans to play Turner at backup center this year having him split the 48 minutes per game with Ian Mahinmi. Last night the split was 30/18 and it will likely remain in the 28/20 range. We can all hope Turner's play earns him more minutes by the end of the season.
Turner play just under ten minutes in that first stint for the Pacers, leaving the floor after collecting six points, four rebounds a block and a steal. But the spark he delivered is hard to quantify and certainly pushed the Pacers back into the game. Finally with three minutes left in the half, Rodney Stuckey scored in transition after getting fouled and knocked down the free throw to put the Pacers up 43-42 for the first time in the game.
Here's Turner's first NBA points followed by a few links: