There were a few things to take away from last night’s bad and ugly loss to the Boston Celtics. First, they will be a tough team to play come playoff time. This game was definitely up and down at times. The Pacers built up a 14 point lead, and probably should have put that game away. But they couldn’t do that. The Celtics come back and get their first lead and win the game on a late basket by a wide open Jeff Green. Therefore, we learned that the Pacers lack sometimes on the defensive end. It was a simple move of getting a guy wide open for the Celtics, and the Pacers missed him. That’s happened before, and that’s a scary sign for a team that’s so good defensively.
Second, this Pacers team should have never let the Celtics back into that game. The Pacers couldn’t score the last five minutes of the game, even with a double digit lead. They should have been able to get a basket and kept that lead for the last five minutes. But in the past couple of months, they’ve lost three games in this type of fashion. That’s a scary sign.
Third, this Pacers team needs to execute better game winning type situations. I have to put some blame on Frank Vogel’s play at the end of last night’s game. I understand with as little time that was left, you can’t catch and shoot. But a toss up to Paul George all the way from the other side couldn’t have been the best way to tie the game for the Pacers. If you’re going to go for it, might as well draw up a three point play and try to win the game. Have Paul George come off a screen, and toss up a catch and shoot. Who knows if you can get it off in time, but it’s probably a better shot than what happened last night. That’s something the coaching staff and players will need to work out.
Now the Pacers are heading to Orlando and Miami for a couple of games. They have to win in Orlando. Yes, a must win. They can’t hit one of those rough slides, and lost this divisional lead they’ve built up. Plus they’ve dropped to third in the Eastern Conference standings. Miami will probably keep rolling till the Pacers meet them Sunday, and I say watch out for that one. I’m very nervous about what the Pacers will be up against. We know the Pacers have got the best of the Heat in two meetings, so just imagine what the Heat will want to do in that game. That’s why the Pacers have to win come Friday against the Magic or else it could be a three game slide, and the Bulls could be right back there for the division lead.