I didn’t get to watch or listen to the game tonight, so I came home to quite the surprise. Not only did the Pacers dig in defensively and grind out a victory over the Miami Heat, but newcomer Kareem Rush – who’s originally from my neck of the woods — nailed two huge dagger threes that were ultimately the difference. His sweet stroke and Jim O’Brien‘s system could end up being quite the match.
The other stories:
The brand spankin’ new alternate yellow unis were worn for the first time. Those are sick.
Danny Granger put on a show. His stat line: 25 points, 9 rebounds, 2 blocks and a steal. He was 4-6 from three-point range and is 9-15 on the season. I think we may have found our next All-Star.
Ike Diogu had a nice game — 16 points and six boards. Ike produces when he gets minutes, though. We’ve seen that.
Jermaine O’Neal made his first appearance. While he didn’t do much damage in the scoring department, he made his mark with defense (three blocks), passing (seven assists) and rebounding (nine boards). Plus, he only played 24 minutes.
Mike Dunleavy continues to impress. Even though he had to get stitches in his lip, he came back to put up 15 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals. He lead the team in minutes played despite leaving for stitches. That right their shows me what he means to this team.
Jamaal Tinsley had a helluva pass to find Rush on the first three. Tinsley and Dunleavy exercised good ball movement on Rush’s second. The artist formerly known as Mel Mel the Abuser finished with 10 dimes.
The Big Four (Dunleavy, Granger, O’Neal and Tinsley) had an average plus-minus score of +9. Not going to lose many games when that’s the case,especially in low-scoring ballgames.
The Pacers held Shaq to eight points and seven rebounds. That’s defense.