The Memphis Grizzlies came for a visit to Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Thursday evening, defeating the hometown Indiana Pacers, 112-103.
Memphis shot the ball well, hitting for 50 percent from the field. On the defensive side of the ball, the Grizzlies forced the Pacers into long jumpers and refused to give up easy buckets in the paint. The Grizzlies won almost every aspect of the game and remained one step ahead of the Pacers the entire night.
The key stat of the game for both teams was points in the paint. Coming into this game, the Pacers had already been dominated by the Toronto Raptors down low. After allowing Toronto so many easy buckets it was evident that Indiana needed to shore up their rebounding and paint defense. Thursday night’s game made it was clear the Pacers have a long way to go in that area. The end result was the Grizzlies outscoring the Pacers 48-26 in the paint. Memphis is a big team, and this game proved how much work the Pacers need to do on the defensive end to be an elite team once again.
Another key aspect of the game was the effectiveness of the new players and starters on the Pacers. Jordan Hill started his first game ever for the Pacers. Monta Ellis started his second while Ian Mahinmi started only his 13th. Jordan Hill, once again, seemed overwhelmed by the game of basketball. He had four points and six rebounds in 20 minutes. Ian Mahinmi, the other big man, expected to replace Roy Hibbert’s production, had 11 points and nine rebounds. That’s solid production for Mahinmi. If he can do that consistently all season,the Pacers are in a great situation. Once again, Monta Ellis, had a rough night scoring the ball, hitting on just 25 percent of his shots, for nine points while dishing out three assists. The Pacers signed Ellis to be a scorer, and they should expect him to soon.
The Pacers continue the season with a home matchup against Utah. This will be a good eye-test for the Pacers. If they struggle with a young and inexperienced Utah team, it might be a long season. Rudy Gobert will be a tough matchup for the Pacers big men. It will be interesting to see how they respond to such a tough challenge.
The Pacers-Jazz game tips off at 7:00PM.
7:00 PM ET, October 29, 2015
Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
Mem: M. Gasol 20 Pts, 8 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Blk
Ind: P. George 18 Pts, 8 Reb, 5 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk