Poor Rebounding Costs Pacers In Consecutive Losses Over The Weekend

Poor Rebounding Costs Pacers In Consecutive Losses Over The Weekend

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Poor Rebounding Costs Pacers In Consecutive Losses Over The Weekend

The Pacers returned from Christmas and lost back-to-back road games to the Heat and Pelicans. What happened in those losses?

Joe Robbins | Getty Images

INDIANAPOLIS – A trip to warm weather in their return from Christmas didn’t lead to any wins for the Pacers (21-12) over the weekend.

The Pacers lost a heartbreaker to the Heat on Friday night, 113-112, before getting dominated in the final three quarters of a loss to the Pelicans on Saturday.

Friday’s loss in Miami came thanks to the Heat controlling the glass all game long, outrebounding Indiana, 56-34.

The cherry on that came with the Heat corralling 3 offensive rebounds before guard Goran Dragic made a floater in the lane with 6.8 seconds to go, which proved to be the game winner.

Aaron Holiday followed with a missed left-handed runner in the lane.

Indiana had 7 guys in double figures and tied a franchise record by committing just 4 turnovers.

With Malcolm Brogdon (hamstring) again sidelined on Saturday in New Orleans, the Pacers wilted after a great first quarter, losing 120-98.

After leading by 13 at the end of the opening quarter, the Pelicans then outscored the Pacers by 16 and 15 points in the next two quarters to push the game out of reach going into the final period.

Aaron Holiday led Indiana with 25 points, but brother Jrue Holiday got the best of Aaron and Justin.

Indiana shot just 6-of-28 from three-point range and struggled all night with getting the game more to their pace. Jeremy Lamb was 2-of-12 from the field.

The Pacers will now cap 2019 with a New Year’s Eve matinee against the 76ers.

Three Things Learned

-Where’s The Rebounding? In Friday’s loss to the Heat, one of the biggest worries Nate McMillan has had in his tenure was never more apparent. Rebounding is constantly on the mind of McMillan and the inability to grab a late rebound against the Heat cost the Pacers a win. In total, the Heat outrebounded Indiana, 56-34, on Friday. One of the big issues the Pacers had late against Miami was Myles Turner trying to block shots (which he should do), but that largely takes him out of the play to secure the rebound. And with Domantas Sabonis off the floor down the stretch, the Pacers could not finish the game. How Indiana finishes defensive possessions will continue to be a storyline to watch this season.

-Need Brogdon Back: With Malcolm Brogdon missing these weekend games, the Pacers lost both. It doesn’t sound like Brogdon’s absence should be much longer though, which is obviously a good thing for Indiana looking to get back on track. While the Pacers protected the ball tremendously on Friday night, they could not control pace at all against the Pelicans. This is where Brogdon’s presence is so valued. He knows how to handle his team, picking and choosing times to alter tempos. The Pacers have received very nice contributions from T.J. McConnell and Aaron Holiday, but having them play so many minutes exposes things a bit.

-Big One Coming On New Year’s: As the Pacers head into the final game of 2019, they are 3-3 in the marquee games played this month. A win over the 76ers on Tuesday would give the Pacers a 4-3 record in the games that Nate McMillan made clear would offer a different barometer for his team. On a deeper note, Tuesday’s matinee with the 76ers means a little more given the history of Joel Embiid against the Pacers, plus what assistant coach Dan Burke said after these teams first met earlier in the year. The Pacers and 76ers just seems to mean a little bit more nowadays and it’s obviously a key test for Myles Turner.

Pacers Upcoming Schedule

-76ers 12/31 (Tuesday)

-Nuggets 1/2 (Thursday)

-at Hawks 1/4 (Saturday)

-at Hornets 1/6 (Monday)

-Heat 1/8 (Wednesday)

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