This was the team that everyone said would challenge the Miami Heat for supermacy in the Eastern Conference. Roy Hibbert shot blocker and rebounder supereme made life difficult for would be scorers… Lance Stephenson, George Hill and Paul George made life miserable for anyone guarding them. The Pacers made short work of the Knicks in the playoffs and pushed Miami in 6 grueling games before losing to the Heat.Yet everyone had them either as number two seed in the East or dare say number one seed and topping the Heat as the team to beat in the East. For a while it seemed like the pacers would be the team to beat and had the Heat chasing them for most of this season for the top seed in the East. Then the Heat caught the Pacers and the Pacers imploded. Now the Pacers are pointing fingers at each other, confusion reigns on the team , players playing out of their roles, not passing the ball timely or missing wide open shots, and they can’t blame this on Andrew Bynum, their core is to blame for the state they are in not a back up center trying to restart his career.
So what happened to the team that so much was expected from? What happened to the Indiana Pacers? And can they right the ship in time for the playoffs?
To begin with the Pacers are in first place in the Central Division a 9 game lead over the second place Chicago Bulls. Yet the Pacers have lost their last 3 games i a row and got beat by the Spurs 103-77 leaving the Pacers to question what went wrong with themselves.
”It’s awful, we’ve been in a downward spiral and we’ve been splintering a little bit,” Roy Hibbert said. ”We’ve had plenty of players-only meetings and plenty of sit-downs as a team with coaches and we’ve had some upper management in here, so I don’t know. Maybe we should all go to group therapy or something, sit down with Dr. (Chris) Carr and figure out some of our grievances.”
Carr is the team’s performance psychologist.
On paper the Pacers are too good of a team to continue their current funk, they are not in danger of missing the playoffs and they are tied for the top spot in the East with Miami. Yet something has the Pacers spooked. Are losing their swagger, have they lost their mojo or are they simply over reacting to the losing streak and making it worse than what it is? Let’s face it this is the time of the year when you want to be at your peak or at least begin approaching it, making a statement to the teams either you are trying to catch or the teams you will most likely face in the playoffs.
So the losing that has engulfed the Pacers has them over thinking, over reacting and maybe second guessing themselves as a group and indivdually. But nothing cures all like winning, so the first win streak on the march to the playoffs will breathe a sigh of relief to the Indiana Pacers. Face it they are just too good to be in this funk for much longer. Once they figure it out …Miami will be waiting on them.