So, I don't want to do grades for this game. I mean I really DO NOT want to do grades for this game. As a former resident of the state of Indiana I was all ready to do an entire Hoosier's related post. Instead, it was like watching Ricky Rubio get knocked into a trophy case for two and-a-half hours while Mrs. Gastrovan yelled "please let this game end before somebody gets hurt". All I can say is "my team is on the floor".
Now, on to the grades
Kevin Love: A- | 21pts| 17 reb | 2 ASST| 2 TO| +1
Love's shot wasn't falling and this might be one of the quietest 21/17 we'll see from any player all year. However, he worked his tail off all night and it's a pity more of his teammates didn't follow suit. He didn't give up and for about 3 1/2 quarters did a pretty good "psycho-T" impression by throwing his body into much larger players while getting pummeled from all sides.
Ricky Rubio: B- |10pts| 4 reb | 6 Asst | 1 TO | - 5
Ricky wasn't horrible but he didn't do much to affect the game. Not sure I can blame him. He seemed to have quite a bit of trouble working his way around the length the Pacers threw at him and got absolutely punished by Roy Hibbert picks on every possession.
Speaking of Roy Hibbert... anyone interested in giving him a bunch of money in free agency? I think the answer is yes.
Darko!: C | 4 pts| 3 reb | 0 Asst | 1 stl | 1 blk | 2 TO | -15
I actually felt like Darko did a better job than his line shows. Yes, on the offensive end he was pretty dreadful but he huffed, puffed, and gasped his way to a decent defensive job on Roy Hibbert. At least for a while.
Also, have we talked about giving money to Roy Hibbert yet?
I don't really care enough about what Wes did or did not do tonight to give him a grade. Seriously, this game was such a drag that some of these guys aren't going to get letter grades. Wes is one of them.
Luke: B |16 pts| 2 reb | 4 asst | 2 TO | -8
Luke wasn't great on the defensive end tonight but there were stretches (before we were pummeled into submission) where his scoring kept things close. Also, his floaters are a thing of beauty.
JJ: C- :) | 7 pts | 2 reb | 3 asst | 2 TO | -8
JJ was lost out there. His lay-ups wouldn't go in and on defense there were times where he looked around only to realize that he was guarding air. But, he gets a smiley face because it was good to have him back.
When the game began and I was planning my "Hoosiers" fantasy I was hoping that JJ would ice the game for us with a few granny free throws. It didn't happen.
Pek: D | 13 pts | 12 reb | 2 TO | + 2
A 'D' you ask? True, Pek had one of the best games for our squad but Danny Granger walked out of Target Center under his own power. This should not have happened.
I'm worried. I'm worried that we've all built up the brute strength of Pek but all we're getting is a teddy bear who accidently commits acts of brutal violence ala Lenny from "Of Mice and Men" when what we need is a "Mountain that Rides" (if you don't get the Game of Thrones reference please go read the books right now). I was eagerly awaiting Granger's demise as soon as he asked Love if he "wanted to dance" but it didn't happen. This was the turning point of the game. You can't convince me otherwise.
Beasley: C- | 11 pts | 1 reb | 0 asst | 0 stl | 2 TO | +1
For most of the game it seemed like "Bad Beasley" decided to play. Though he finished with a positive +/- Be-Easy often settled for the long-jumper, didn't pass, and didn't rebound. However, he did have Love's back during the aforementioned Granger incident and he hit all of his free throws.
Okay, so this was my first stab at grades and I know I've left off Martell, Wayne, and D-Will but it's getting late and they really didn't do much to contribute in any way to this crappy, crappy game. One thing that became obvious from this tilt was that our pups need to get a lot more physical. It seemed like it was Love thrashing about alone among three guys on the opposing team for much of the game. It'd be nice if others joined him.