November 12th – November 18th
It was a lousy week for the Indiana Pacers. The Pacers managed to put together another one win, three loss week. I assume we’re all struggling with the question of whether or not this is just what we should come to expect from the team this year, or will things turn around for the fellas. Anyway, that’s a subject for another story. Let’s get into what we saw (or perhaps did NOT see) from the Pacers this past week.
Tuesday the Pacers took on the Toronto Raptors who were without their best player, guard Kyle Lowry, and also Landry Fields. This looked like an easy win for the Pacers; that is, until the opening tip-off. The Raptors led by 10 points going into the halftime intermission, limiting the home team Pacers to a measly 36 points. Indiana held Toronto to five points in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t muster the offense to complete a comeback.
I’d rather not even mention the Wednesday night’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks. Apparently a group of tall men resembling the Indiana Pacers meandered into the Bradley Center and wound up shooting hoops. The Bucks led by as many as 27 points as they cruised to victory. The game was never competitive at any point and Indiana looked worse than we have seen them in quite some time.
The Pacers bounced back on Friday when the hosted the Dallas Mavericks, welcoming Darren Collison back to Bankers Life Fieldhouse. This certainly was the best performance we have seen from the Pacers so far this season. After a very competitive first half the Pacers put together an impressive third quarter and carried the momentum into the fourth as they pulled away for a 20 point blowout. Offensively Indy hit the century mark in regulation for the first time this season. Remarkable that it took this long to get there, but at this point it’s just satisfying to see that they’re capable of such a performance.
Nobody really expected Indiana to put up much of a fight against the New York Knickerbockers on Sunday and it was pretty clear which team was superior. The Pacers didn’t just lay down like they did in Milwaukee, but the Knicks had all the answers. The offense wasn’t there or the Pacers who once again accumulated less than 80 points. Indiana kept the pace slow enough to prevent the Knicks from having a major scoring output, but All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony tallied 26 points and led his team to a 12 point victory.
Despite the big game against Dallas, the Pacers’ biggest and most apparent issue is still their lack of offensive productivity. There are now only two teams in the NBA who score less than the Indiana Pacers. On the other side of the ball the Pacers are now tops in the Association in scoring defense, allowing only 90.3 points per game. Roy Hibbert still hasn’t found his game this season. He shot 14/40 this week and repeatedly found himself in foul trouble. Shooting 35% is simply unacceptable for a center in this league, especially one who is coming off an All-Star season. It’s hard to imagine that persisting, but that was the same story last week. Sam Young is making his presence felt off of the bench as the Pacers found themselves running plays for him more and more last week. Nobody has really stepped up to replace Danny Granger as the lead guy and it seems like that might be necessary in order to find some consistency on offense. The Pacers only have three games this coming week; facing off against the Wizards, Hornets, and the Spurs. The Pacers pulled out a victory against the Wizards earlier this season and were handily defeated by the Spurs. We’ll look to see if there is anybody who puts together three impressive offensive performances in order to help establish a scoring hierarchy as opposed to an offensive free for all.