Here we are at the end of another week, we saw the Pacers split their four games, taking two huge losses to the Nets and Celtics and then blowing out the Hornets and Heat at home. From it all we learned a lot:
- PG-13 is alive and well. In his first performance of the season against the Heat on Sunday, he played 15 minutes, scored 13 points, had 2 rebounds, and 2 assist. A great performance with months
- Defense is shaky. In the games against the Nets and Celtics the defense massively underperformed. Giving up 100 to the C's on 45% shooting. Against the Nets the Pacers gave up 111 on 50% from deep and the floor. Especially against Nets it felt as if they could get any shot they wanted. However, the exact opposite was seen against the Hornets and Heat, with holding the Hornets to 74 points on 35.0% shooting, and holding the Heat to 89 on 45.1% shooting. The Pacers need to find a balance on defense to keep the playoff hopes alive.
- Three's, three's, and more three's. From three point land the Pacers have really stepped it up with the team shooting about 50% from deep over the past month. This offers a large boost on the offensive end and keeps the Pacers competitive against anyone.
- Rudez has shown he can play. Rudez has been lights out from deep over the past month shooting a ridiculous 57% over the past 17 games. With such staggering numbers, it is a wonder why Frank is not giving him some more minutes. These minutes will probably continue to go down with PG back in the lineup.
- The bench has been key. For the Pacers to make the playoffs, the bench has to keep performing at the level they have. Giving huge minutes, and often, providing a big lift in offensive and defensive production. As seen last night with Scola's 23 points, 1 assist, and 12 rebounds, in only 18 minutes. Followed by Mahinmi's 9 rebounds, 3 blocks, and 2 steals, and of course PG's 13 points. To make this playoff push, the bench guys need to keep up their big performances.