INDIANAPOLIS – Maybe that’s why the Pacers don’t appear on national television much.
The continued struggles in that spotlight showed up again on Wednesday night with the Bucks blasting the Pacers, 130-110.
Outside of the final score, this game was over before the 4th quarter started, with the Bucks (13-8) building a lead of 30 points, which led to both teams resting their starters in the final period.
Giannis Antetokounmpo had a triple-double in three quarters of work. Giannis scored 21 points (7-of-8 shooting), grabbed 14 rebounds and dished out 10 assists.
Indiana (12-10) had no answer in attempting to keep Giannis away from the rim.
For the Pacers offense, outside of a career-night from Domantas Sabonis, hardly any starter showed up.
Sabonis did record a career-high 33 points (14-of-25 shooting) in just three quarters of work.
When the game was somewhat competitive though, the Pacers could not survive the shootout pace that the Bucks built in growing a lead to 30 points before the 4th quarter started.
Indiana will have a home pair of games this weekend (Pelicans on Friday, Jazz on Sunday), before three straight on the road next week.
Three Things Learned
1. No Answer For Giannis: Just a ho-hum triple-double for arguably the best player in the NBA. That happens when facing Giannis Antetokounmpo. But doing it in 3 quarters of action? How about playing 31 minutes for him in those quarters and not shooting a single shot outside of the restricted area? That’s terrible by the Pacers. Starting with Malcolm Brogdon, and moving to Justin Holiday, Domantas Sabonis and Jeremy Lamb, the Pacers (obviously) had no one-on-one defensive matchup for Giannis. But allowing him to shoot all 8 of his attempts at the rim is a poor team defensive game plan/execution. Giannis finished the night with 21 points (7-of-8 shooting), 14 rebounds and 10 assists in his three quarters of action.
2. Moment Too Big: Playing their first game on national TV this season, the Pacers looked like a team that had no business being in that spotlight. Even putting the night of Giannis Antetokounmpo to the side, the Pacers had a terrible night offensively. For much of the night, the Pacers hovered around 40 percent shooting from the field, less than 30 percent from behind the arc and struggled to get to the foul line. The starting lineup, sans Domantas Sabonis, was particularly disappointing. The Pacers scored just 21 points each in the first and third quarters—and that was when their starters were playing the most. That normal crisp offensive flow for the Pacers was lacking on Wednesday.
3. Sabonis Sets Career-High: Similar to Giannis, Domantas Sabonis did very impressive work in just three quarters of action. Sabonis scored a career-high 33 points (14-of-25 shooting) on Wednesday. He was 3-of-5 from behind the arc, showing off more of a willingness and capability to shoot that shot this season. What continues to be especially true by the game of Sabonis is that it’s not solely the scoring. He also had 6 assists on Wednesday, further reiterating his importance to this team. Of course, Sabonis got hardly any help from the starting lineup. Fellow starters Myles Turner, Malcolm Brogdon, Jeremy Lamb combined to go 6-of-25 from the floor.
Pacers Upcoming Schedule
-Pelicans (Friday, 2-5, at 7:00 PM)
-Jazz (Sunday, 2-7, at 1:00 PM)
-@Nets (Wednesday, 2-10, at 8:00 PM)
-@Pistons (Thursday, 2-11, at 8:00 PM)
-@Hawks (Saturday, 2-13, at 7:30 PM)