Late Rally Falls Short: Pacers 96, Nets 91 (GAME GRADES)

Jason Terry


He has one job and didn’t do it tonight.

Mason Plumlee CENTER

Provided great rookie minutes in the first half, bringing energy and tenacity around the basket. Got scored on by Luis Scola, then returned the favor hitting a layup through contact and then a reverse lefty layup off a nifty feed from Paul Pierce. He looked so good the Nets tried throwing him two alley-oops, both of which failed because I mean come on are you really running your offense through Mason Plumlee?


Hit with two quick fouls and a technical foul for arguing and struggled to score throughout. Had a couple of nice plays, including a good run-out and fast-break layup off a Deron Williams feed in the fourth quarter and perhaps the highest bounce a 3 has ever made, but his turnovers and missed shots piled up.

Shaun Livingston POINT GUARD

With Kirilenko limited because of his back, Livingston has been the early steal of the offseason. Running the offense at an NBA level, getting smart shots, not playing outside of his capabilities.


The good: HI KG.

Other than that awesome tip-dunk: hit his first jumper, a welcome sign, then also missed an easy layup at the rim and got hit for two quick fouls. Provided a nice emotional boost when he fought like hell for a rebound, then threw Orlando Johnson off him, causing Johnson to wrap him up for absolutely no reason other than annoyed retaliation. Also grabbed a key steal with 20 seconds left, but threw away a pass with the Nets down 5 to seal the loss. The big question: why can’t he make layups?


Missed the free throw on a potential four-point play that totally would have gone in had the referees not elected to review it immediately. Provided a decent spark off the bench otherwise, including annoying Paul George into a double-technical in the second half.

Deron Williams POINT GUARD

From a purely physical standpoint, Williams looked more explosive tonight than at any point this season, whizzing around defenders and looking sharp with the ball in his hands and getting to the rim. Looked like a real floor general.


Had a great look at a 3 to tie the game with ten seconds left and couldn’t put it down. Sucks it didn’t fall, but you really couldn’t ask for a better shot attempt.

Couple of isolations in the first half that looked borne out of boredom, but looked great as Spot-Up Joe AKA Sniper Joe, hitting threes from the weak side. Had two pretty moves in the post to get around Lance Stephenson and Paul George in the third quarter, and the Nets can definitely create offense out of Johnson in the post if they’ve got enough shooters spacing the floor around him.

Brook Lopez CENTER

Unspectacular. Had a handful trying to score against & defend Roy Hibbert, but did have a nice block on Paul George at the rim in the first half. Lopez is at his best when he’s able to feed off the mistakes of his defenders, and the Pacers make so few mistakes it made Lopez look silly on a few occasions. Did hit some buckets in the fourth but playing Hibbert really forces him to change his game.

Andray Blatche POWER FORWARD

It’s incredible how much more effective he is close to the basket than from 18 feet away, but he’s just good enough with the ball in his hands away from the basket that it keeps drawing him there.