Heat hold off Pacers in the NBA's lowest-scoring game of the season: Running Thoughts
One game after the Pacers scored 133 points, they combined with the Heat for 169. "This is classic Eastern Conference basketball. It’s physical, it’s grinding..." Rick Carlisle said.
Here are my running thoughts from the Pacers’ 87-82 loss to the Miami Heat Monday night at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.
This is their sixth game in nine days. That’s a lot, even for a younger group like the Pacers.
Coach Rick Carlisle on rebounding troubles: “Unfortunately, it’s effort mostly. We talked about it in our meeting before we went on the floor today. It’s something we got to really concentrate on. We need it to be a valuable wakeup call.”
Chris Duarte hasn’t played since Nov. 4 — since the last time the Pacers faced the Heat and he rolled his ankle on Kyle Lowry. He continues to make progress and will be on a rehab assignment this week with the Mad Ants. Here are the details.
Shortly before tipoff, the team announced that rookie Kendall Brown is out indefinitely due to a stress reaction in his right shin. Brown was at the game and sat behind the team bench.
Victor Oladipo is back at The Fieldhouse for the first time in 703 days and since being dealt to the Houston Rockets in early 2021. Click here for my story from shootaround with his full comments.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is at the game, making his annual visit to Indy in mid-December. He addressed team employees before the game but did not talk with the local media.
Rev It Up: Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser Jr.
Carlisle changed up the starting lineup. Forward-center Jalen Smith came off the bench for the first time this season, replaced by Aaron Nesmith. Smith sat out one game last week with right knee soreness and has only played 25 minutes total in the last two games.
Carlisle explained postgame that this was a matchup decision and reiterated how they will utilize “lineup fluidity” this season.
6:30: Veteran James Johnson talking with the assistant coaches about something. Could be nothing, or it could be something he noticed. He knows the Heat well since he spent four seasons with them (2016-19).
5:27: Oladipo checks in for the first time to a mix of cheers and boos.
2:38: Surprise, surprise. Another slow start and Carlisle calls his second timeout, down 21-13. The Pacers start 1 for 10 from beyond the arc.
Heat switch to a 1-2-2 zone with Oladipo at the top.
Buddy Hield connects on consecutive 3s to close the quarter after the Pacers troubling start. They had seven turnovers, didn’t get to the foul line and were outscored 14-6 in the paint leading to a 26-19 deficit.
6:05 Pacers lacking some juice and the Heat are dictating the pace, slowing the game down. They’re down double digits and being outplayed so far.
43-24: Heat outscored the Pacers 17-5 to begin the second. Even more troubling is the Pacers are stuck on 24 points midway through the second quarter.
Hield and Nesmith account for 20 of their first 29 points.