Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images
4-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 10 REB | 3 AST | 8 PTS | -22
Roy Hibbert showed that Vucevic has a ways to go before becoming a complete two-way player. While Hibbert was making his presence felt on both ends of the floor, Vucevic struggled to make any sort of impact. He was minus-22 for the game and he picked up a flagrant 1 in the fourth quarter for throwing an elbow at Orlando Johnson while fighting for a loose ball.
4-11 FG | 3-5 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 12 PTS | -11
It was a warm homecoming for Oladipo, who got a standing ovation from Hoosiers supporters when he checked into the game midway through the first quarter. And it didn’t take long for Oladipo to get his first career NBA basket once he started to break a sweat. The biggest takeaway from Oladipo’s debut was his fearlessness in attacking the rim. He didn’t shy away from challenging the Pacers bigs.
8-10 FG | 2-2 3P | 1 STL | 4 REB | 18 PTS | 0
In the first half, Nicholson was infallible. He was making midrange jumpers and corner 3s. He even had a nifty spin move and layup finish against Ian Mahinmi. Then he didn’t play until the beginning of the fourth quarter. It was a curious decision by head coach Jacque Vaughn to sit Nicholson for so long — a pattern that reared its ugly head at times last season.
6-13 FG | 2-2 3P | 1 STL | 1 REB | 14 PTS | -3
Harkless had a number of sequences in this game where you could see his offseason work paying off. The added muscle he put on his frame allowed him to finish through contact on a couple of drives to the rim. And he put up several shots from the perimeter that looked good the moment they left his hand, thanks to his reconstructed jump shot.
The man that was the biggest reason for the Pacers’ victory is the aforementioned Hibbert, who was a monster defensively. He devoured Magic forays to the rim like a sarlacc in Star Wars. He blocked seven shots and altered many more of them — Orlando shot 8-for-22 (36.3 percent) in the restricted area when Hibbert was on the floor.