No. Not really.
But we can hope, can't we?
No. Not really.
But we can hope, can't we?
Why? Why? Why?
At home against a team with a worse record (not anymore), coming off a good win against the Pistons...and yada yada yada...another loss.
107-97. Record now 15-29.
Let's not dwell on the negatives. Let's try and take something positive out of this.
For starters, Brandon Rush appears to be turning the corner, at freaking last. He has been a lot more aggressive, looking a little more like the player the Pacers were so optmistic about when they traded for him last season. Over the last 6 games, Rush is averaging 12.7 points per game, but more importantly he shot 63% from the field, 50% from three point range and 100% from the line over this stretch. This is from a guy who previously shot less than 40% from the field and barely 50% from the free throw line throughout the season.
And AJ Price - who would have thought - another solid effort today with 17 points in 23 minutes. For the season, the second round pick is averaging 7.2 points a game, but he really didn't have much of an opportunity before TJ Ford got banished. Over the last 13 games, Price is averaging 10.6 points in just 20.9 minutes, which is better than both Ford and Watson.
I recently posted an article on Bleacher Report about a super team comprised entirely of ex-Pacers players who are still playing in the NBA (check it out here). A number of the key players on that ex-Pacers squad (such as Jermaine O'Neal, Ron Artest and Stephen Jackson) were on the promising team that ventured into Detroit and thumped the defending champions on their home floor (in more ways than one) on 19 November 2004.
As we know, the Pacers were never the same after that day, and more than 5 years later, the team is still suffering from the after-effects of the most infamous brawl in NBA history. Detroit had fared much better until last year (when they still made the playoffs), but this year they are pretty much neck and neck with the Pacers in the fight towards a top 5 pick in the next draft lottery (though the main reason is really the Chauncey Billups as opposed anything else).
Well, today the Pacers visited the Pistons in Detroit, and I suppose the Pacers are now the better team again for the first time since the brawl, because they came away with an easy 105-93 victory. Not much consolation for ruining the last 5+ years, but a win is a win.
Danny Granger top scored (who else) with 25 points. He was still struggling a little but managed to shoot 14 of 14 from the line. Troy Murphy proved his worth again with another double-double (16 and 11), and the two sophmores, Roy Hibbert and Brandon Rush, both had solid games with 14 and 19, respectively.
For Detroit, Rip Hamilton had 27 points to lead all scorers.
With the victory, the Pacers snapped a 3-game losing streak and moved to 15-28, still 4th last in the East.
Next up, a home-and-away against the Philadelphia 76ers, one of the 3 teams in the East with a worse record! Come on, 2 more wins await!
For those fans who want to think positive, the Pacers are 6-6 in 2010.
It seems every time I show the slightest bit of optimism that the Indiana Pacers may pull out a win they get absolutely thumped.
No exception to the rule today. The Orlando Magic (who've been pretty tragic of late themselves) wiped the floor with the Pacers tonight. The final score was 109-98, but the Magic ran out to a 40-20 first quarter lead and led by as much as 29 before they got complacent and allowed the Pacers to crawl back, but no closer than 9 points.
Dwight Howard dominated with 32 points and 11 boards. Roy Hibbert, who outplayed Howard last time, had 3 points in 18 minutes, all on free-throws. Danny Granger actually did alright with 25 points on 9 of 19 shooting, and Dahntay Jones had 17.
The Pacers are now 14-28 as we move past the mid-point of this awful season.
With each loss incurred, the Pacers are moving closer to drafting consensus no. 1 pick John Wall in the next draft lottery. According to most accounts, this guy is better than Derrick Rose and has about as good of a chance to save the Pacers as any other point guard not currently in the league.
Even so, why do these losses sting so badly?
Let's just say I'll be as surprised as anyone if the Pacers win this one, okay?
But hang on - the Pacers did beat them last time in Indiana. Roy Hibbert did outplay Dwight Howard. And the Magic have been playing pretty uninspiring ball lately.
What am I talking about? Pacers to win!