It would have been so good to kick off the new Pacers Pulse with a win, but alas, it was not to be.
The Indiana Pacers went down to the Oklahoma City Thunder today, 108-102. With the loss, the Pacers dropped to 11-25 for the season.
Both Danny Granger and Troy Murphy started in their second game back from injury. Granger had 25 points but shot a horrible 6-21 from the field. Murphy was more respectable, with 15 points to go with 15 boards. The standout for the Pacers was rookie AJ Price, who put up 23 points in just 24 minutes of action, including 17 just in the 4th quarter to keep the Pacers within striking distance.
On the other hand, Kevin Durant scorched the Pacers for a season high 40 points and 12 rebounds, shooting a remarkable 12-18 from the field and 13-14 from the line.
Remember last season, when everyone was comparing Danny Granger and Kevin Durant, and wondering who would be better to have on their fantasy team? Right now, there is no comparison. While the Pacers have slumped this season in the lowly East, Durant and the Thunder have risen to a genuine playoff contender in the tougher West, and are currently 8th with a record of 20-16.
It's not unusual for a team to struggle for a few games as key players return from injury, but the Pacers need everything they can get right now.
I am beginning to wonder whether it would be better to play the young guys (like AJ Price and Tyler Hansbrough) significant minutes for the remainder of the season and aim for a top 3 lottery pick next season. I've even written an article about it at Bleacher Report. Check it out here!