The Indiana Pacers have had an odd beginning to their 2016-17 campaign. The wins-and-losses have been unhinged for Pacer-fans, who were in hopes of a hotter start from their Central Divison franchise.

But the Pacers showed light — even without their vital superstar Paul George, who curated a “players-only” meeting on Thanksgiving Day.

Via Indystar.com George made it known to his teammates that they need to grow as a team — communication and discipline wise.

“I wanted to get the guys together and kind of wanted to get them to just start seeing the game differently,” George said after the Pacers’ shootaround. “If there’s action going on strong side, why can’t we talk and say, ‘Hey, I’m going to set you up for this back screen or I’m going to get to you for this pin down.’ No reason why we can’t communicate on the offensive end.”

Although, Paul couldn’t necessarily “lead” the Pacers physically, but him cheering from the sidelines while recovering from his ankle injury, has been enough.

Indiana, who have came off an encouraging win against Brooklyn, carried their passionate turnaround agaisnt the powerhouse L.A. Clippers — resulting in a 91-70 road-win after an impressive display of assailing defense.

Here’s how they were able to do it.

 

FIRST HALF.

The opening period began with L.A winning the tip, but resulted with Chris Paul committing a turnover — just five seconds after he gained possession of the ball. Recovering on the loose play to finish the break was third year Forward Glenn Robinson III, and I’ll tell you, this young man has one of the brightest futures ahead of him.

Indiana took an early 6-5 lead with 10:05 left, and continued to attack the Clippers’ defense.

Pacers’ second-year big man Myles Turner was getting at DeAndre Jordan early, and played him well on both ends. He did a really solid job keeping Jordan away from any offensive rebounds, and also gave him trouble running out to contest his jumpers.

After continuing his aggressive play, Turner may have came up as a bit too-aggressive. His first-quarter of playing time was placed at a hault — picking up two early fouls. Big Al Jefferson came in to replace him, and it was one heck of a substitution from the former Charlotte center.

Even with Myles taking a seat, the Pacers continued to get engaged defensively, they forced the Clippers to seven first-quarter turnovers, including three from Paul, himself.

The Clippers re-gained the lead with under two minutes left in the first, 20-18. Unfortunately, Blake Griffin couldn’t register a single-point the quarter:

The first quarter ended as the Pacers had a 23-20 advantage, who had six points each from Turner, Robinson III, and Jefferson. DeAndre Jordan had six rebounds to lead all players.

As the second went underway, we were able to witness more defensive intensity from Indiana, as Glenn hit a pull-up jumper to give him eight points.

More turnovers and silly plays were committed from Los Angeles, as even Al Jefferson took a dive for a loose-ball, but apparently hurt his knee in the process. He was okay afterwards.

The Clippers were just unable to really get in any form of groove in the second, due to the simple fact that they couldn’t execute or finish possessions. Whether it was an illegal screen, or a pass for a backdoor cutter, nothing seemed to be working:

However, three-time Sixth Man of The Year Jamal Crawford came in and did what he does best — put some easy points on the board with difficult shot attempts. Jamal had a total of eight points with a pair of threes in the second quarter, and continued to keep the Clippers in the game.

Thaddeus Young (who’s been averaging around eighteen points in his last four games) had a three of his own, and the Pacers continued to top the scoreboard, 33-27.

But as Myles Turner returned to the game, he wasted no time producing at an exceptional rate. It was exactly what Indiana needed — and the timing was perfect.

Doc Rivers had already seen enough, calling a timeout while his team is down 32-40 with under three minutes remaining of the half.

But Indiana continued to run their offensive fluently. The player movement was up to par — as the Pacers began to heat up. They shot 50% in the second, in comparison to just 36% in the first.

The Clippers continued to suffer on offense, and the way they ended the first-half was as dreadful of a way as you’ve seen them, all season. They finished the half with 14 turnovers on 30.8 shooting from the field.

You just really have to credit how good this Indiana team can become through time and patience. It wasn’t as convincing seeing them have this kind of effort against Brooklyn, but doing this agaisnt one of the league’s best — is a statement.

The Pacers closed the half with a 50-40 advantage over the Clippers.

For Indiana, Myles led the way with 13 points with 7 rebounds on 6-10 shooting. Robinson and Jefferson each had ten. Jeff Teague went scoreless in the half, but was unselfish with seven assists. Indiana had 16 of those in total.

For L.A, the Clippers’ backcourt of Paul and Redick combined to shoot just 3-10 from the floor, and 1-7 from deep. Blake Griffin scored all eight of his points in the second.

 

SECOND HALF.

There was a big-margin in Points In the Paint for Indiana, as they held a 22-8 advantage in the category. They also gathered some nice production from their bench, as they held a 20-13 lead in reserve points in the first half.

And in the second-half, it was more of the same.

We continued to see more Myles action. As he was able to avoid foul-trouble, and give the Clippers more than they could handle defensively. Let’s just say he was hard to keep from making an impact on both ends:

The game started to become real chippy after the Pacers continued to pull away. The refs were discussing a potential flagrant-foul, which was eventually ruled off. A no-call on a push-off from Redick wasn’t counted, but the Clippers ended up committing their 16th turnover anyway.

The Pacers found themselves up 18 with not just their defensive pressure, but even more pressure added on the Clippers’ defense, as Myles made an excellent pass for the corner three:

Big Al jefferson continued to fill-in whenever Myles took a breather, the classic-style big-man made some excellent moves for whoever was guarding him.

Rodney Stuckey really took us back to 2009, as he had eigh points in the third quarter, on 3-5 shooting. He fueled the Pacers’ bench as they regained an 18-point lead over L.A, 76-58 as the third quarter came to an end.

I had expected the Clippers to make some kind of run to begin the fourth, but it just didn’t happen for them. They shot just 5-20 in the final period with 12 points.

Big Al scored his final points of the game before coming out with a standing ovation from Pacer-fans, as he represented himself well as Turner’s backup Center — and more importantly, a veteran mentor.

The Clippers tried cutting it down to 15, but Turner once again made it known that Indiana was sealing the win:

In Doc’s eyes and to many, the game was simply over. The Clippers were bound to lose their second game in a row — against a team without their two best perimeter scorers (George and Miles). He ended up taking out his big-three with around roughly five minutes of basketball to play, and basically hinted “Let’s get ready for the next one.”

…That was the nicest way of putting it, maybe.

70 was the lowest point-total of Rivers’ four-year tenure with Los Angeles, and it came off an outstanding stalwart performance on the defensive-end by Indiana — coming away with the win at home. Pacer-fans also received free-biscuits due to L.A missing five free-throws in the game.

Big Al on the defensive intensity: “Just protecting the paint. Coach talked about that the last two games.”

On his relationship and mentorship with Myles: “I’m getting in a great rhythm. Myles going a great job setting the tone. He’s like a little brother, or a nephew. I’m always in his ear all the time and he loves it.”

And the results have been great for the 20-year old from Texas, as Turner finished with 17 points and 14 rebounds.

FINAL TAKEAWAYS.

  • Glenn Robinson III led Indiana with 17 points and 6 rebounds on 7-9 shooting.
  • Rodney Stuckey with 12 points and 5 assists on 4-10 shooting.
  • Jeff Teague with 7 points (3-8 FG) along with 10 assists, 2 steals, and just one turnover.
  • Big Al with 16 points and 8 rebounds on 8-17 shooting.
  • Thaddeus Young added 11 points and 6 rebounds on 5-10 shooting.
  • Three Clippers scored in double-figures. Griffin with 16 with nine rebounds, Paul with 13 (3-11 FG) with 4 assists and 4 turnovers, and Jamal Crawford with 12 on 5-12 shooting.
  • DeAndre Jordan added 8 points and 14 rebounds in the loss.
  • The Pacers beat the Clippers at their own game, with a 26-11 advantage in assists. They also forced L.A to commit 20 turnovers.

Indiana improves to .500 at 9-9, as they head-out to Portland for what could tough road matchup against the Trail-Blazers.

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