It wasn’t pretty, and the Indiana Pacers had a stranglehold on the Brooklyn Nets for almost the entire 48 minutes.
Paul George, Myles Turner and Jeff Teague came to play. Clearly, the Nets’ defense didn’t, and they fell 121-109 in Indianapolis. By no means are the Pacers an offensive juggernaut, and this was just the second time this year they eclipsed 120 points without an overtime period. On a good day, their offense is average.
Brooklyn got off to an incredibly slow start, and Kenny Atkinson went deep into his bench early trying to find a way to slow down Indiana. They had trailed by as many as 11 in the opening frame before the bench players stopped the bleed, but at no point did the Nets make a run that separated them from their opponent.
They did, however, lead for a combined 26 seconds in the second quarter, so there’s something positive.
In all seriousness, as bad a defensive showing as it was, credit must be given to the Pacers’ offense. More specifically, Teague.
He manipulated Brooklyn all night long, handing out 15 dimes while committing just three turnovers, and scoring 21 points on 9-of-13 shooting.
Yes, he had more assists than shots attempted.
With Teague having the hot hand, it was easy for Turner and George to get theirs. PG dropped 26 on 10-of-18, and Turner was a game-changer on both ends of the court. To complement his 25 points, he added 15 boards and five blocks.
Now matter how you look at it, Nate McMillan‘s team was much more prepared for tonight. It was routine for the Nets to have lapses on defense and utter confusion on offense, and Indiana was able to prey on their disjointed effort.
Since that trio toasted Atkinson’s starters, he wasn’t reluctant when making subs, and Anthony Bennett was the only bench player who didn’t get at least 15 minutes of action. By the end of the night, the starting five all boasted a negative plus/minus, and the bench was actually playing better than them.
Trevor Booker had 16 points on 7-of-11 shooting, and Brook Lopez had just 12 in 26 minutes. The backcourt, Isaiah Whitehead and Bojan Bogdanovic, played 13 and 12 minutes, respectively, and combined for ten points.
— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) January 6, 2017
Justin Hamilton was the best player for Brooklyn, and he got out of his slump after throwing up 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting. Sean Kilpatrick and Spencer Dinwiddie each had 13 off the bench as well, and Bennett was the only reserve who didn’t have a positive plus/minus — his was zero in three minutes of action.
Undoubtedly, Brookyln’s bench beat the wheels off Indiana’s, but the Pacers didn’t need much production from them with the way their starters owned the contest.