After 16 loyal years and only a handful of missed games in that span I am giving myself a break from the team. I've made it through some rough moments with this team, but what happened tonight was a microcosm of everything I find wrong with basketball and with the Pacers.
I cannot be devoted to a team that I find no joy in watching. The games, the strategy, and the team have been so poorly mismanaged that I see little reason to invest my time or money into the Pacers. Yes, it was a close game tonight, but we should've won by 30. Milwaukee played terribly.
-Luther Head. He will not be with the team next year. 17 minutes.
-Earl Watson. He will not be with the team next year. 39 minutes. The oldest active player on the roster played 39 minutes on the 2nd game of a back-to-back set.
-T.J. Ford. He will not be with the team in two years. 39 minutes.
-Troy Murphy. He will not be with the team in two years. 33 minutes.
-Brandon Rush. Potential core piece. 19 minutes.
-Roy Hibbert. Potential core piece. 11 minutes.
-Dahntay Jones. Best defensive player and core piece. 11 minutes.
-Josh McRoberts. Potential core piece. Did not play, coach's decision.
-A.J. Price. Potential core piece. Did not play, coach's decision.
I figured we'd get a chance to see A.J. since we started our 2 pgs. Nope. We did not start Roy Hibbert because "Bogut killed him". You know, as opposed to the other Pacers that successfully guarded him. Roy Hibbert had a 4" height advantage at times, but only got 7 FGA (we did attempt post entry a few extra times, but I'm still shocked by the previous game...no post entries to Roy until the 4th quarter).
We're 20 games below .500 and the 8th seed has a .500 record. There are 24 games left. We're not developing the younger players AND we're wasting minutes on players that aren't part of our future. We're not playing to the strengths of our players (except Murphy). We're sending a season's worth of mixed signals to our potential core players and our President is giving our coach a vote of confidence. Our owner is giving our President a vote of confidence. And worst of all, the organization I've devoted all my support to shows no signs of changing AND insults my intelligence with puff pieces about how our youth movement hasn't stalled. And this is just the tip of the iceberg, as far as I'm concerned.
I'm taking a break until there are some changes. I hope the organization is smart enough to see what it's doing to some of its core fans with its collective choices. I apologize for the negativity, and I understand if I get the "true fan" lecture, but this team has been too frustrating for too long. I think any Pacers fan that has supported the team for the last 5 years has been patient enough.