Post-Game Grades: Indiana Pacers Pick Up Win Over LeBron-Less Cleveland Cavaliers

IndianaPacers

103

ClevelandCavaliers

93

No LeBron James or J.R. Smith, but the Indiana Pacers put together a solid game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse and picked up the win.

The Good: While LeBron James took the night off — as well as J.R. Smith — the Cleveland Cavaliers are a deep team that still had Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving on the floor. With that in mind, picking up a win against the Cavaliers in these circumstances is still impressive. It doesn’t have the luster of a full-squad win, but considering the Indiana Pacers’ struggles this season, getting the win tonight was important.

The defense showed up for a second straight game, holding Cleveland to 40.7% shooting from the field and 36.7% from deep.

Perhaps it isn’t foolish to be optimistic about this team.

The Bad: If you bought tickets hoping to see LeBron James, you probably weren’t happy that LBJ sat out.

MVP: He didn’t have to contain LeBron James tonight but that allowed him to put his energies elsewhere. The Pacers were always maintaining and building a lead with him on the floor and for what it is worth, he finished the night with a +/- of +24.

Surprisingly, this was his first double-double performance of the season as he ended the night with 21 points, 11 rebounds, and 5 assists. PG had two near-misses with 9 rebounds earlier this season and he’s averaging 21 points and 6.6 rebounds a game.

X-Factor: Jeff Teague’s 20 points and 8 assists kept the Pacers humming along smoothly. Teague shot 7 of 12 from the floor and 2 of 4 from 3-point range while keeping his assists down to only two. After a slow start to the season, Teague is looking like the player Indiana hoped they traded for when they send George Hill packing this offseason.

Paul George

Small Forward, Indiana Pacers

A

Grabs his first double-double of the season with 21 points and 11 rebounds.

Jeff Teague

Point Guard, Indiana Pacers

A

Over the past five games, Jeff Teague is averaging 18.8 points and 6 assists His shooting is much improved from the beginning of the season as he’s shooting 48.4% from the field over the last five games, as well as 33.3% from beyond the arc.

Myles Turner

Center, Indiana Pacers

B+

A solid showing from Turner with 12 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 blocks. He’s only 20 but he has gotten verticality down so far and is swatting 2.4 shots a game this season.

Thaddeus Young

Power Forward, Indiana Pacers

A-

A little bit of a bounce-back game for Thaddeus Young after some mediocre nights. 16 points and 7 rebounds while shooting 7 of 14 from the field, including 1 of 1 from 3-point range.

Monta Ellis

Shooting Guard, Indiana Pacers

B

Monta Ellis had 5 blocks (?!) while also picking up 6 rebounds, 4 assists, and a steal. A well-rounded (if unexpected) stat line.

C.J. Miles

Shooting Guard, Indiana Pacers

B

A little below-average for C.J. Miles’ standards this season as he had 10 points on 4 of 7 shooting, including 2 of 5 from deep. He’s averaging 14.4 points a game this season, so we can accept a little drop off for Miles.

Aaron Brooks

Point Guard, Indiana Pacers

B

Aaron Brooks had 9 points and 2 assists, but also deserves credit for making a few tough shots when the Cavaliers were fighting to get back in the game. He shot 4 of 7 on the night and was 1 of 4 from deep.

Al Jefferson

Center, Indiana Pacers

C+

None of the backup bigs played much, and Big Al only had 2 points and a rebound to show for his 7 minutes of work.

Lavoy Allen

Power Forward, Indiana Pacers

B-

Lavoy Allen had the team’s fourth best +/- at +7, a reminder that while he only had 2 points, 2 rebounds, and an assist in his 9 minutes of work, he usually makes a positive impact.

Kevin Seraphin

Center, Indiana Pacers

C+

Kevin Seraphin only played 8 minutes after his productive outing last time out, but managed to get 4 points off 2 of 3 shooting, and one monster block of Jordan McCrae. The only knock is the defense struggled while he was out there, for what that’s worth.

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