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Game 52: Indiana Pacers at New Jersey Nets

Let's set up the scene. On Monday night, the Nets played Utah, a team who was coming off a 4 overtime loss, playing the second night of a back to back and their third game in 4 days. The Nets were coming off a blowout win vs. Charlotte on Saturday. So what happened? Utah kicked the crap out of the Nets is what happened.

Indiana on the other hand is coming off a great win vs. the Miami Heat on Monday and a blowout win vs. Milwaukee on Saturday. As of right now, the Pacers are the 5 seed in the Eastern Conference and would play the Sixers in Round 1 if the playoffs were to start today.

How do these teams matchup? Let's take a look:

Offensive Efficiency

Defensive Efficiency

Free Throw Rate

Turnover Rate

Offensive Rebounding %

Effective FG%

Opponent eFG%

Indiana

102.2

99.1

32.5

13.45

28.91

47.03

47.23

New Jersey

100.1

107.5

27.6

14.62

28.42

47.55

51.57

League Average

101.4

101.4

28

13.89

26.94

48.5

48.6

The Pacers are solid all around. They're good on offense (led by Roy Hibbert and Paul George) and good on defense as well. They don't shoot well overall, but they make up for it by getting to the line a ton, making the most out of their possessions (low TO rate) and attacking the offensive glass. Frank Vogel has done a good job with this team since he took over head coaching responsibilities, and will probably continue to do so in the future. One troubling aspect of Indiana's game: they're hideous shooting at the rim. They're the second worst in the league at the rim, which might come back to hurt them in the playoff.

You're not gonna win anything when your as God-awful as New Jersey is. They can't control the glass, they're stagnant on offense and the best offensive player in terms of efficiency is on the bench. Just terrible stuff all around

Last time I saw you

And before we move on to present affairs, let's take a trip back to the 2002 Playoffs. This was one of the most awesome and horrifying (for us at least) moments in Playoff history.

Tip-off is at 7:30. Jump for the good stuff.

Point Guard: Darren Collison vs. Deron Williams

The former Bruin first gained notoriety a few years ago in NOLA when he took over for Chris Paul after he suffered an injury. Since then, he's been a fine player and this season has been no exception. His shooting has gone down (.520 TS%) year to year, but his offensive game has gotten better due to a decline in turnovers (which is almost as important as shooting efficiency). His defense is the key, as opposing point guards have only a .462 eFG against him. He's a solid player and one would think he'd only get better with more experience.

For a person who uses as much possessions as Williams, you simply can not be this inefficient with the ball. On its own, a .533 TS% is OK, but when you're using 31% of your team's possessions, you need to do better. Night after night, he tosses up contested jumper after contested jumper and they miss over and over again. In a sense, he's just like Carmelo Anthony, the only difference being that Williams is a better passer. And that makes me sad.

Advantage: Nets (barely)

Shooting Guard: Paul George vs. Marshon Brooks

The second year player has really taken a big step forward this year. His three point shooting has really improved, as he's shooting close to 40% this year vs. only 30% last year. He's gotten better as a rebounder, passer and is more involved overall on offense. But the athletic wingman has really been great on defense. He can defend multiple positions, and defend them well (opposing SGs have an eFG of 50%, while SFs have an eFG of only .435, which is a spectacular number). And most importantly, the team defense is most benefitted with him on the court. With George on the court, the Pacers allow only 98.6 points per 100 possessions. Without him, they allow 106 per 100 possessions. If only the Nets had a player like him.

The inefficient streak continues for Brooks, as he shot 3-10 vs. Utah on Monday. With George opposing him, it doesn't look as if the rookie will break out it this game.

Advantage: Pacers

Small Forward: Danny Granger vs. Gerald Wallace

I've never been much of a Granger fan. I always thought he was an inefficient shooter, but when I looked it up, I was dead wrong. For a person that active on offense, having a TS% of over 55% for 5 straight years is pretty impressive. His shooting has taken a nosedive this year (only 40%), but the turnovers have dropped this year so it's not all bad.

So far, not so good for Wallace as a Net. The Nets are still losing, and Wallace hasn't been much of a help. His eFG% is only 41%, which is awful. On the bright side, Wallace shot 4-5 at the rim on Monday so at least he did something well.

Advantage: Pacers

Power Forward: David West vs. Kris Humphries

I had thought West was having a crappy season. My thoughts were wrong. He's had a decent year in his return from his knee injury. He also had a good game against Miami on Monday, as he had 10 points and 12 boards in their 15 point upset win. He's signed for 2 years and should be a good bet to be productive next year as well.

Humphries got torn up by Millsap on Monday. While West isn't as good of a player as Millsap, I'm not feeling all that confident of Hump's chances of slowing West down.

Advantage: Pacers

Center: Roy Hibbert vs. Shelden Williams

All-Star Center Entertainment 720 Baller Roy Hibbert is awesome. He's had a much better year this year, as his shooting is much improved (50% this year vs 46% last year). His rebounding has been improved as well, as he's got a rebound rate of 17, which is very good. He does most of his damage from inside of 10 feet. While his shot from 3-9 feet (53%) is very good, I think he can improve on his touch at the rim (54%). Once he improves in that area, it'll be baller time.

Much like Humphries and the rest of the Nets, Williams got torn up by the Jazz. It figures to be more of the same and I dream of the day Brook Lopez will be a useful player in all aspects of the game.

Advantage: Entertainment 720

Bench:

Indiana: Tyler Hansborough, LeAndro Barbosa, George Hill, Dahntay Jones, Louis Amundson

New Jersey: Gerald Green, Anthony Morrow, Jordan Williams, Sundiata Gaines, Johan Petro

Advantage: Indiana

Miscellaneous:

Danny Granger was taken 17th in the 2005 Draft. Who'd the Nets take at 15? Antoine Wright. Thanks for nothing Rod.

Yo B to the O to the double S, do what he says and you'll be success-ful

I think if the Pacers could make one more move, they would be a legitimate title contender.

R to the O to the N anD then I say Swanson got swagger the size of Big Ben clock

If we were to compare Brook Lopez and Hibbert, Roy would win that in a landslide.

Reggie Miller was pleading with him, "Please don't [use the pepper spray]. My suit cost x hundred dollars.'

Long live e720

Just by looking at the numbers, we knew (or should've known) that Deron Williams wasn't as good of a player as Chris Paul. The difference seems even larger now.

Viva Pawnee! Viva America! Viva Mayor Walter Gunderson!

Journey through the dark side: Indy Cornrows

The mothership: Pacers vs Nets coverage

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