Welcome back from the NBA All-Star Break! This game represented the first game of the 2nd half playoff push for the Memphis Grizzlies and the Indiana Pacers, yet it was the Pacers that came out with the win, 102-92. The Grizzlies were matching up well with the Pacers early, but Indiana got out to a double-digit lead at halftime and never looked back.
Some #BREAKING shoe news: Paul George’s signature shoe dropped a new theme to celebrate the Pacers’ “Hickory” throwback uni’s. Indy fans wasted no time relating it to Paul George leaving.
Imagine how great the purple and gold will look
Thaddeus Young made his return to the lineup for the Pacers, which got fans excited as the Pacers look to improve their playoff seeding.
Indy went 2-6 without Thad the Impaler. Thank the gods he's back tonight. #GoPacers— Fox Doucette (@RealFoxD) February 24, 2017
A really cool sight to see before tip-off in Indianapolis: Paul George, who withstood trade rumors over the deadline, gets an enormous ovation from the Pacers crowd.
Paul George cheered, rather loudly, by Pacers fans when introduced after yesterday's trade deadline. pic.twitter.com/8L46vAr5G3— Nate Taylor (@ByNateTaylor) February 25, 2017
The game didn’t start out too hot for Indiana.
Good Ol' Pacers letting the opposing team's least offensive minded player literally destroy them— Jeremy Carrigg (@GrizzlyDiddles) February 25, 2017
Rakeem Christmas entered the game, which is a rarity for the Pacers, so it confused Pacers fans. But his play quickly helped Indiana and dampened doubts. With Christmas on the court, the Pacers were able to cut the early deficit to just one point at the end of the first quarter.
And...Christmas is playing. Ok.
Nice rebound by Rakeem.
Grizzlies 26 Pacers 25 after 1, there's some noticeable extra energy on the floor...perhaps a product of Christmas' surprise early PT.— Pat Boylan (@PatBoylanPacers) February 25, 2017
Looks like the Indiana Pacers are getting an unexpected gift...— 8 Points, 9 Seconds (@8pts9secs) February 25, 2017
... from Rakeem Christmas. pic.twitter.com/hB2TMn57ip
Rak bringing out the dog in Lavoy, big fellas getting after it. #Pacers— Tom Lewis (@IndyCornrows) February 25, 2017
The Rakeem Christmas bandwagon is getting near full-capacity as we’re underway in the second quarter.
Christmas comes early!!!!
Something to be said for having a big man that can move.
Rakeem is so long
The 2nd quarter was a lot better for the Pacers than the first. Not only did Rakeem Christmas play well, but so did Monta Ellis, which was a pleasant surprise for Pacers fans.
Maskless Monta is good
Oh wow. I didn’t even notice monta had 14 points.
I refuse to believe this is the same Monta that I have wanted to trade since day 1.
Monta Ellis has 14 points, hitting 6 of 7 field goals and both 3-pointers. As you were expecting.— Mark Montieth (@MarkMontieth) February 25, 2017
Things are going well for the bench when Monta and Stuckey start draining pull-up 3s.— C. Cooper (@C2_Cooper) February 25, 2017
The folks at Indy Cornrows had some general thoughts about the first half:
Paul’s been going at the rim in this one. Gotta like that.
Lavoy is making bunnies? It’s a whole new world.
This team is weird.
I still don’t believe what I just saw. This can’t be the Pacers.
Paul George making that pass to Lavoy to close the half doesn't exactly fit the me-first narrative that's floating around.— C. Cooper (@C2_Cooper) February 25, 2017
Meanwhile, Smashmouth’s HOT basketball takes over the summer makes me wish this comment was referring to the band.
Once upon a time, I wanted Smashmouth to meet the Grizz in the Finals.
Psh, and people say Chandler Parsons isn’t useful.
chandler parsons contract makes my happier about Monta’s and Al Jefferson’s...he’s turrible.
Meanwhile, the game gets worse for the Grizzlies into the 3rd. The 12 point lead after halftime ended up ballooning to a 27 point lead at one point.
Starters not letting bench take all the glory tonight. Getting 3Q buckets. #Pacers— Tom Lewis (@IndyCornrows) February 25, 2017
Do this more often please, Pacers.
What got into this team over the break?
The Pacers should keep their star player out of the loop with their trade plans more often.
Meanwhile, Lavoy Allen put up a double-double in his first 16 minutes playing, because sure, why not.
Lavoy putback gives him a double-double for the game. #pacers— Tom Lewis (@IndyCornrows) February 25, 2017
THE LAVOY ALLEN EXPERIENCE™ WITH A DOUBLE-DOUBLE.— 8 Points, 9 Seconds (@8pts9secs) February 25, 2017
At least Pacers fans are having fun during this.
I haven't watched the Pacers wax a team in a while, I'm enjoying all 48 mins tonight— Steven (@ThaLiveKing) February 25, 2017
Crap...If Monta played like this all seasons...
Too bad he didn’t do this before the deadline.
The Grizzlies started chipping away at the 27 point lead towards the end of the third quarter. The Pacers “only” lead by 21 at the end of 3.
Five Pacers are in double figures. Lavoy with a double-double. Ellis and Miles lead the Pacers with 14 each. Indy up 89-68 at end of 3Q.— Jon R. LaFollette (@JonFilet) February 25, 2017
Please don't blow a 27 point lead, Pacers.— Laura (@lbrgdl) February 25, 2017
Plenty of pessimism heading in the 4th for Pacers fans:
The wheels are coming off our bench again.
Don't you do it Pacers bench. Bad Pacers bench. No. No. You stop— JCSourwine (@JCSourwine) February 25, 2017
The lead was cut down to 13, but the Pacers were playing well and holding off the Grizzlies from completing the comeback.
Starters going back in with 9:41 remaining, up by 16. Well, PG, Young, and Turner
What a proud Dad moment. Awesome play by Turner
He’s always a little more athletic than I expect.
Myles Turner would not be denied!— Tom Lewis (@IndyCornrows) February 25, 2017
Myles Turner guarding Z.Bo. pic.twitter.com/RSyY44QeCq— Jon R. LaFollette (@JonFilet) February 25, 2017
Pacers dominating nearly every category but turnovers. Have 17 now, leading to 29 Memphis points— Mark Montieth (@MarkMontieth) February 25, 2017
Pacers fans were excited about Thad Young’s great return to the starting lineup, and the energy he brought in the 4th quarter makes it easy to see why.
THAD YOUNG!!! God I'm glad he's on this team— Ryan Brown (@realRyanBrown) February 25, 2017
Seriously, I wasn't making stuff up when I said how much the Pacers lose when Thad Young is out.— Grant Afseth (@GrantAfseth) February 25, 2017
Man Thad is crucial to our success. What a work horse!!! We definitely missed his energy over the losing streak.
Overall, the Pacers fans were happy with this game. It was a convincing win for their squad and there was excitement at the end of the game, considering how desperate the trade deadline could have been for them.
I really dig this version of the 2016-17 Pacers
Heh. That +/- really flip-flopped from the first half.
50 Rebounds. Have they reached that before during this season?
Might be the best game the Pacers played all year tonight. Amazing how that can happen when you try to guard the opponents.— Wes Reynolds (@WesReynolds1) February 25, 2017