The Indiana Pacers will end this week with a 3-1 record that is good and bad in a way. The good is that the Pacers were able to win those three games in three nights business that featured the Chicago Bulls and Atlanta Hawks, two teams the Pacers wanted to beat. Then they traveled to Philadelphia and played a game where no one could hit much of anything. Final score in that was 88-69. Not exactly a barn burner game there.
Then came the bad in the home loss on Friday night to the Toronto Raptors. Teams will experience losses of course. But this Pacers team had won 15 straight games at home, and were riding a lead in the fourth quarter. But the wheels came off, and the Pacers never recovered. Even letting the 4 point lead slip in the final ten seconds. Once that happened, I wasn’t too hopeful about the overtime session as the team’s mindset was gone. I think ultimately, the focus was lost in that game, and now the Pacers have two home court losses to a bad Raptors team. Sure it won’t matter in the long run as long as the Pacers finish strong and do something in the playoffs. Even a first round loss couldn’t be taken back to this Friday night loss. But still sad to see such a lengthy win streak get snapped like that when it looked like it could have kept going for so much longer.
Other good news did come along in this week. Two members of the Pacers will be partaking in extra activities on All Star Weekend. We know Paul George will be playing in the game, but now he’s been selected to be part of the three point contest, which if George shoots as well as he can, he’ll have a great chance of taking this. He’s the third Pacers player to do this contest, following Danny Granger and Reggie Miller.
Also, Gerald Green gets his chance to earn another Slam Dunk Title as he’s part of the Slam Dunk Contest. We’ve seen some high light reels from him before, so this might be his chance to step it up and win again. Green hasn’t had much playing time with the Pacers, so maybe this could give him some refocus and play his way back into a role for the Pacers.
Overall, we can’t be too down on the Pacers as they’re still in first place in the division and third place in the Conference. There’s not much room for error though as all the teams are bunched up. I don’t know if first place in the conference is viable for the Pacers, but they could get up into that second spot if they play out the rest of this month right. Get some good wins down and see where you are come playoff time. We’re getting closer to that point where you can’t just say oh it’s another game. Now’s the time to start saying, let’s get out and win this one and keep this going.