Most people remember that historic game against the Nuggest in November, when the Pacers put up 144 points, including that 54 point third quarter where they shot 20 of 21 from the field. But as I said in an earlier post, those November Pacers are long gone, and what's left is not pretty.
These Pacers gave up a 16 point lead to lose to the Blazers, and were gradually blown away completely by the Nuggets after the first quarter. There was no real sense of urgency, no confidence, no belief that they could win.
The loss puts the Pacers down to 16-25, and what do you know -- out of playoff position. The losing streak will probably continue in their next game against the Orlando Magic, before they get a good chance to snap the streak (which will be 5 at the time) against the lowly New Jersey Nets.
The funniest thing I've read recently comes from Chris Broussard (Truehoop) -- you can check out the article here. According to unnamed sources, Indiana bosses are not happy with coach Jim O'Brien's performance, and part of the reason is because of O'Brien's bizarre, nonsensical rotations. Example:
Tyler Hansbrough plays 36 minutes one night, posting 23 points and 12 rebounds, and just 23 minutes the next; Paul George plays 21 minutes one night, four the next.
Also don't forget, certain guys like Hansbrough, McRoberts, Price and George have all gone from starter/role player to the inactive list and vice versa for no obvious reason and without real explanation throughout the course of the season.
However, the source also said that O'Brien is unlikely to be fired because they don't believe anyone else on the current coaching staff can do a better job. In other words, Indy will be stuck with him until at least the end of the year.
That's just hilarious. You're telling me that after three years of doing exactly the same thing with his rotations, of missing the playoffs, of having near identical (or worsening) records, the owners FINALLY realized that O'Brien is not getting the job done? No wonder the Pacers have not gotten any better!
Time to pull their heads out of the sand.
The biggest problem (apart from the coach, the defense, the offense, the energy, the effort, the cohesion and everything else) is that the Pacers have no guys that can make plays when the team needs a basket or a defensive stop. Contrary to popular belief, Danny Granger is NOT that guy, at least not right now. Hibbert works hard, but at the moment he's just tossing up shots praying they'd go in, and the prayers aren't working. Collison is probably the closest thing the Pacers have, but he's still too inconsistent and O'Brien doesn't seem to have enough faith to set up plays for him.
I'm so sick of watching opposing players (sometimes not even very good ones) make play after play against the Pacers while the Pacers keep tossing up weak-ass shots on the other end, throwing the ball away and missing at the rim.
Something needs to change, and starting with Jim O'Brien is the most logical thing to do.