This season is starting to look like every other season under Jim O’Brien for the Indiana Pacers. The defense is better this year but the offense is nowhere to be found.
The Pacers had a 15 point lead late in the third quarter against the San Antonio Spurs yesterday and threw away the game down the stretch, losing 90-87 despite a 23 point, 12 rebound performance from Tyler Hansbrough in his first start of the season.
Today, they flew to Atlanta and faced the Hawks who had already handled them easily twice this season. Game three was no different. The Hawks broke open the game in the third and routed the Pacers 108-93.
For the now 14-20 Pacers, things are starting to look horrible after a promising start to the season. Nothing is clicking now, especially on the offensive end. The Pacers are 28th in the league in FG%. Granger has struggled with his shot and Hibbert as well. These two guys are where all the problems start, but guys like Rush and Collison are also not getting the job done.
I like the fact that Hansbrough is finally playing and starting — he should help with his energy; and I also want to see more of rookie Paul George.
Next up is the Philadelphia 76ers, and I see this as a must win for the Pacers to get themselves back on track, though with the way they have been playing lately it might not be an easy game. After that they’ve got Dallas and Chicago at home, before a four-game West coast road trip. If they keep losing it could get ugly.
They need to find that rhythm and confidence they had at the start of the season, and they need to do it fast.