All I wanted was for the Pacers to not get smashed again against the Miami Heat like they did the last time these two teams met. Well, the Pacers not only not get embarrassed, they almost, and probably should have, won the game, which actually makes me feel a little worse.
After leading for the majority of the game after a stellar first quarter, the Pacers and Heat went toe to toe until Lebron James decided to take over in the fourth quarter and send the game to overtime. The Pacers looked like they were going to win it in OT too, until a few mistakes and a ridiculous jumper from D-Wade (who probably got fouled as well) with 0.1 seconds left against Paul George. Game over. Pacers lose 93-91, their third consecutive loss.
No moral victories here, though it's tempting to say that the Pacers showed they could hang with one of the best teams in the NBA, if not THE best. But hanging with and beating are two different things, and the Heat again showed why they are the favorites to win the title this year.
I wonder what might have happened had Jeff Foster or George Hill played tonight (both out with injuries), or if Roy Hibbert could snap out of the stinking funk he is right now. He is barely playing at an NBA level right now, let alone All-Star level. Hibbert was 2-11 with 5 points and 7 rebounds against little guys like Joel Anthony and Dexter Pittman, guys he ought to have dominated.
Fortunately, Danny Granger stepped up -- which meant he didn't get completely annihilated by Lebron James as he usually does. Granger had 19 points and 7 boards, which doesn't compare well to Lebron's 27, 8 and 4, but this is Lebron James we're talking about, and Granger can hold his head up high for keeping the King in check for 3 of the game's 4 quarters.
Pacers head over to play the other Florida team tomorrow. I don't like their chances but if they can build upon this disappointing loss they'll have a chance. Let's hope Dwight Howard has his mind on other things, you know, with the trade deadling coming up and all...