That video pretty much sums up a game in which the Blazers did the Happy Dance all over the Indiana Pacers. But let’s still take a look at what happened.
After going down a tad early on due to some nice Indiana shooting, the Blazers basically stole this game with a 9-1 run to open the second quarter and never looked back. The Pacers hung around in the teens for much of the third quarter and by the fourth quarter, everyone was all jokes.
It’s a fairly open and shut case, the equivalent of someone robbing a convenience store without a mask on and waving to the security camera before they leave. The Pacers had Danny Granger scoring 30 points for them and he was also the only Indiana player in double figures. It doesn’t matter if you have one player drop 50, if nobody else is scoring alongside him, you probably aren’t winning the game without using Jedi mind tricks whenever your opponent begins to shoot.
Both teams shot 43 percent, but the difference was at the foul line, where the Blazers earned 30 attempts to Indiana’s 11. This wasn’t anything out of the ordinary, as the Blazers get to the line the sixth most in the league relative to their field-goal attempts and the Pacers are the fifth-worst team at putting their opponents on the line, and it further exemplifies the suit-and-briefcase type of win this was. Sprinkle in 12 offensive rebounds, 10 steals and 18 turnovers from the Pacers, and nine times out of ten, those numbers are going to carry the more talented team to the finish line.
Though Nic Batum cooled off with his shot — he was still gliding about creating mischief — nobody really had a bad game. Aldridge took care of much of the scoring in the first half while Roy sustained the double-digit lead in the second, but the most positive thing to come out of the night was both Rudy Fernandez and Jerryd Bayless getting their good mojo flowing. Bayless took advantage of Indiana’s lack of interior, or otherwise, defense, started 4-for-4, connected from the perimeter and pulled down six boards while Rudy took 10 (!) threes, hit five and made a couple nice passes to collect five assists. Nothing spectacular from either of them, but still the kind of nights that leave you with positive images to think about over the next couple days when visualizing self success.
I won’t inundate you with any more of the “These are the wins playoffs teams get” schpeel because by this point in the season you probably get the idea. Due to their relative inefficiency on offense, the Pacers don’t match up well with a Blazer team that controls possessions. And when your own style already has you at a relative disadvantage on the road, you turn the ball over 18 times and your reading from a rulebook that says each NBA team is only allowed one offensive player that doesn’t stink, you probably have a sad face in your future.