3 Things to Like and Dislike From Pacers' Win Against Grizzlies
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Facing the need for a strong bounce-back performance, the Indiana Pacers got the job done in Tuesday's home matchup with the Memphis Grizzlies. They ended a two-game losing streak using a 134-116 win.
There was a lot of great offensive production in this game from the Pacers. Indiana scored at least 30 points in each of their quarters and jumped out to a 21-point lead at halftime using a season-high 71 points in the first half.
The Grizzlies ended up outscoring the Pacers in the second half but it was by only a total of three-points. Memphis had simply dug too deep of a hole before halftime to be able to reasonably mount a successful comeback effort.
Here are three things to like and dislike from Tuesday's win:
LIKE: Domantas Sabonis' Interior Presence
Without Jonas Valanciunas in the lineup, the Grizzlies simply didn't have the necessary size or strength on the floor to be able to contain Domantas Sabonis. The one-time All-Star took full advantage of this favorable matchup.
After 35 minutes of action, Sabonis finished with 32 points, 13 rebounds, and five assists. Perhaps most impressive of all was that he finished 13-of-15 (86.7%) from the field and made each of his two attempts from beyond the arc.
Sabonis scored 15 of his points in the second quarter alone. That was a key stretch of impact in the Pacers' ability to ultimately put the game too out of reach for the Grizzlies to recover.
DISLIKE: Second Half Defensive Execution
The level of execution the Pacers had on both ends of the floor in the opening half was genuinely impressive. Their offense scored a season-high 71 points on great efficiency. Indiana's success continued in the second half as they added another 63 points to the board.
Indiana's defense was impressive during the opening half but experienced a legitimate let up to end the game. The Grizzlies scored just 50 points on 16-of-45 (35.6%) from the field and 4-of-12 (33.3%) from the perimeter through the end of the second quarter.
The Grizzlies picked it up offensively in a major way during the second half. Memphis scored 66 points and went 26-of-48 (54.2%) from the field and 5-of-13 (38.5%) from deep combined during the third and fourth quarters.
LIKE: Containing Ja Morant
It has been a bit of a struggle for the Grizzlies to produce efficient results offensively this season. Memphis is producing only 0.972 points per possession (PPP) -- ranking 25th in the NBA. It usually becomes all the more challenging when Ja Morant isn't thriving.
It's not easy to slow down a talent like Morant but the payoff is substantial for a defense when successful. The Pacers proved to be quite successful in doing so -- containing him to just 10 points on 2-of-10 (20.0%) from the field with four turnovers.
Memphis did receive strong contributions from other players to help overcompensate for Morant's lesser scoring results. However, the Grizzlies needed him to have a truly sensational outing to keep pace with the Pacers' hot shooting.
DISLIKE: High Turnover Count Continues
An issue that has persisted as of late for the Pacers has been their tendency to turn the ball over at a high rate. Against the Grizzlies, it didn't end up costing them but they still had 18 turnovers as a team -- resulting in 29 points off turnovers.
It's natural for a team to have some mistakes that just randomly occur throughout the flow of any given game. For the Pacers, their main playmakers have struggled with ball security at times, mostly when trying to operate in the middle of the floor within the half-court.
Against the top teams in the NBA, the Pacers simply cannot afford to keep turning the ball over. There is plenty of time left for Indiana to iron out some of these tendencies, but for now, it remains an issue.
LIKE: Hot Scoring Production
There was a lot of talk entering this matchup about the Grizzlies' elite defensive results so far this season. Memphis unraveled with their lack of available size inside the paint since it opened up the perimeter for the Pacers' shooters. Indiana took full advantage.
The impact Sabonis made with his 32 points set the tone but was followed with Malcolm Brogdon (23), Myles Turner (22), and Jeremy Lamb (19) each scoring a strong volume of points in their own right. Indiana had more than it needed from its leaders with Lamb stepping up.
The Pacers were highly efficient on shot attempts as they finished 49-of-82 (59.8%) from the field and 16-of-29 (55.2%) from beyond the arc. Indiana was able to comfortably overcompensate their struggling turnover volume as a result.
DISLIKE: Disadvantage in Bench Scoring
The Pacers didn't end up needing much for scoring from their bench unit given how effective their starters were in this area. However, allowing 54 bench points while producing just 28 of their own certainly wasn't favorable for Indiana.
There was certainly room for improvement from Aaron Holiday in the scoring department, who was coming off a hot scoring performance in his previous outing. He finished with 6 points while going just 1-of-6 (16.7%) from the field and 3-of-6 (50.0%) on free throws along with a pair of turnovers. Seeing more consistency from him would be ideal.
It was too easy for the Grizzlies' bench unit to put up points. Memphis received 40 points combined from Desmond Bane (16), Tyus Jones (12), and De'Anthony Melton (12) in their second unit.