The first game of the renewed play-in the NBA got a frog with the tremendous beating the Indiana Pacers endorsed the Charlotte Hornets for 144-117. The thrashing did not require any display of the local team either, but rather the total absence of defense shown by James Borrego’s pupils in a match already resolved at halftime.
The invisible performance of Charlotte’s referents contrasted with the excellent choral contribution from Indiana, who came to the clash with doubts after the Caris LeVert’s last minute drop, one of the team’s main threads since arriving from Brooklyn in the four-cushion transfer by James Harden.
Neither the absence of the base by the sanitary protocol nor the already known absences of Jeremy lamb and the portentous Myles turner they affected Nate Bjorkgren’s game plan too much. The coach, wrapped in a sea of doubts about his continuity, was expensive in the tactics and practically did not have to intervene in the match.
Domantas Sabonis barely scored 2 points in the first half, but he ended up as the main reference in Indiana thanks to his intelligence on the track. Lithuanian he went up to 14 points, 21 rebounds and 9 assists (7-15 TC; 0-2 3P) and did not even have to play the last quarter. Beaten by the rival defense, the team didn’t need him to brag of any kind either.
They collaborated in the overwhelming triumph up to seven Pacers in double digits: Oscar brissett, author of 23 points; Malcolm Brogdon, who reappeared after ten games of loss with 16 goals and 8 providential assists; Doug mcdermott, a hurricane in the first quarter with 16 of his 21 total points in the game; Y TJ McConnell, leader of the bench with 17 points.
The triples rained down for Indiana (16 of 35), a team not used to showing off from the perimeter. The merit was not only offensive, and it is that Pacers defense barely allowed Hornets to run they have shone against the entire course.
Without Gordon Hayward, which has been lost the last month of competition, Borrego’s header exteriors did not make an appearance, especially the rookie LaMelo Ball. Seen last night, the rookie seemed a common player and not the feeling that competes for the title of rookie of the year Anthony Edwards, number one in the past of the 2020 Draft and teammate of Ricky Rubio and Juancho Hernangómez in the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Ball racked up a -35 PIR in the encounter with some ridiculous end-of-season records: 14 points, 4 assists and 4 turnovers (4-14 TC; 2-6 3P). The blame spread to his troupes on the perimeter: Terry rozier, 16 points (7-20 TC; 0-9 3P); Y Devonte graham, 4 points (1-8 TC; 1-7 3P). At halftime, these three players accumulated a 5 out of 20 in field goals.
Charlotte’s pride was shyly pulled out Cody zeller, author of 17 points, and Miles Bridges, which ended with 23 points accumulated mostly in the garbage minutes. They both showed their faces after the meeting. They have kicked us in the ass, ”illustrated Bridges. “They came out and punched us in the mouth,” Zeller covered.
In the first quarter the Hornets already saw the challenge very uphill with a 40-24 closed with a basket of Edmond sumner over the horn.
From +16 it went to +24 at halftime (69-45
) and the kits of the teams last night could not have been more suitable for what remained. With their striped pajamas ironed on, both teams headed in the second half and the Pacers even allowed themselves to continue expanding their margin up to an unforgivable +39.
Everything worked for Indiana, and nothing worked for some completely lost Hornets. The traumatic defeat puts an end to their season and they will be the Pacers who will have another chance to reach eighth place and the playoffs.
“We do not care about the rival, This last month we have been playing well as a team, the ball is moving, we are all involved ”, he valued Sabonis in declarations to the TNT chain. “It depends on us and how strong we go to the next game. Our confidence is through the roof ”.