DJ Augustin for MVP!
Sign of a true fan. Crap all over a player when he struggles, sing his praises when he delivers.
DJ, starting for the second consecutive game for the Pacers at point guard in place of the injured Geoge Hill, rose to the occasion again, setting another season high with 18 points to go with 6 assists in 37 minutes as the Pacers allowed the Wizards to come almost all the way back from 17 points down before holding them off for an 89-81 victory.
Augustin was 9-10 from the free throw line, including 6-6 down the stretch (the Pacers' final 6 points, in fact) as Bradley Beal went nuts and almost stole the game by making three huge shots just when the game appeared to be over. Despite looking lost all season, for the last two games at least, Augustin has been huge for the Pacers and finally looks like he belongs on the court.
Is it because he wasn't used to coming off the bench or playing limited minutes? Who knows, but if George Hill is back for the next game against the Celtics without being 100%, it might not be a bad idea to let DJ start and allow Hill to spot him off the bench if Rajon Rondo starts killing them, which he probably will. The Celtics have lost four straight , making them a very motivated and dangerous team.
Anyway, Paul George actually had a monster game with 29 points, 14 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals. Hibbert scored in doubt digits for once with 13 and shot 6-11 from the floor, but he only had 4 rebounds and played just 24 minutes because of foul trouble.
The Pacers are now 19-13 for the season, which doesn't look too bad considering Danny Granger is still out, Roy Hibbert continues to disappoint and the bench is still wildly inconsistent.
By the way, the NBA really loves to screw the Pacers over. Remember that home game against the Bulls that was canceled because of a snowstorm? Well, the powers that be have rescheduled the game for Feb. 4, meaning, wait for it…the Pacers play 3 games in 3 nights and 4 games in 5 nights.
Not exactly a soft part of the schedule either. The Pacers will play the Bulls after Miami and before Atlanta, and will then travel to Philly the very next day. On the other hand, the Bulls get a day off after playing Atlanta before facing the Pacers, then get another 2 days off before heading to Denver.
Thanks for nothing, NBA.