The Indiana Pacers just can't guard anyone. Not with consistency, anyway.
Case in point: the most recent drubbing at the hands of the LA Lakers tonight at Conseco Fieldhouse.
The final score was 118-96, but it was the way the Pacers gave up basket after basket to Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum that made it crystal clear that the Pacers' defensive mentality is just not where it needs to be.
Bryant had 29 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists on 10-15 shooting, whereas Bynum had 27 points and 12 rebounds on a ridiculous 12-14 from the field.
It was a weird game for the Pacers in many ways. Danny Granger, hampered by foul trouble, only took 8 shots and scored a quiet 13 points. Double-double machine Troy Murphy had 18, but somehow only grabbed 5 rebounds.
I liked what I saw from Roy Hibbert and Brandon Rush though. Hibbert top scored with 21 points in 28 minutes, and although Rush shot only 5-15 from the field en route to 13 points, I liked his aggression. He grabbed 11 rebounds, including 4 on the offensive end.
To be honest, I liked the Pacers from last season more. Even though they lost just as many games, at least every now and then they would surprise us by toppling a contender, or at least make it competitive. Such surprises are almost non-existent this season.