Okay, so the Pacers lost 90-87 to the San Antonio Spurs at Conseco Fieldhouse in their first game back from the All-Star break. That much we expected.
The loss moved the Pacers to 18-35, and I think I speak for most fans when I say playoffs is not even semi-realistic. It's gone. Goodbye. Sayonara. We've accepted it. Let's look forward to next season.
But then why does Jim O'Brien sit promising rookie point guard AJ Price and play TJ Ford for 24 minutes? Does he want to up Ford's incredibly low trade value for the offseason? Fine, I'd go with that (barely), but then at least give Price some minutes over Earl Watson, who played 38 minutes.
What's the point of playing two veteran point guards when the season is beyond saving so you can have a promising rookie sitting at the end of the bench? It simply doesn't make sense. Sure, both Ford (12, 3 and 3) and Watson (9, 6 and 8) played well, but I'd rather see Price get shredded by Tony Parker for 40 points than watch Watson and Ford. For the record, Parker had 28.
Granger led the Pacers with 23, whereas Hibbert continued to show promise with 14 points, 7 boards and 6 blocks (in 32 minutes). Murphy had 9 points and 16 boards.
The most insane stat of the night belonged to Tim Duncan, who only had 8 points on 4-23 shooting. But get this - Duncan had 26 rebounds, including 11 on the offensive end. That's just unacceptable. And that's the reason why, despite shooting only 35% from the field, the Spurs managed to win this game.
Let's move on. The Pacers have 4 road games coming up against New Orleans, Houston, Dallas and Chicago. I have a feeling it's going to be a long road to the end of the season.
But please, let's see some young fellas. AJ Price, Brandon Rush, Josh McRoberts, Tyler Hansbrough (when he recovers from what must be the worst ear infection of all time) and Roy Hibbert. Let's play that starting line up for a few games and see how much worse they could do than the current squad!