Unfortunately, the Indiana Pacers will head to All-Star Weekend (even though none of them will be going, not even Collison/George/Hansbrough for the Rookie/Sophomore game) on a sour note after losing to the very beatable Detroit Pistons, 115-109 in OT.
The Pacers were lucky to have pushed it to OT, having trailed for much of the game, and some of it by double figures. But in the end, the Pistons just wanted it more. They got to the loose balls and made all the hustle plays, much like how the Pacers did against the Heat the night before -- except here, the less talented team managed to get the victory.
The silver lining is that Roy Hibbert continued his strong play, tying his career high again with 29 points and 9 rebounds. Danny Granger added 28, which Josh McRoberts added 15 and 12. Darren Collison has struggled lately and again played sub-par tonight -- 6 points (3-11 shooting), but he did have 9 assists. Hopefully he will get out this slump soon because I still love what I see from him on the offensive side, always pushing the ball the way the Pacers need to.
The loss pushes the Pacers down to 24-30, still in the 8th spot, but falling futher behind 7th spot Philadelphia (27-29). However, I am still confident that if the Pacers continue to play the way they have been playing, they should be able to secure that 7th position, even though at the end of the day it doesn't matter whether they play Boston or Miami -- because they've got no chance. But still, it's all part of the growing pains the Pacers will have to endure to become a better team.
Here's to hoping the team gets a fantastic break, some well earned rest, and come back after All-Star Weekend refreshed and engergized for the remainder of the season. They are currently on track to win 36 games, but I believe they can get close to cracking 40 if things continue to progress.