Sometimes, a coach wants to punch the blackboard, kick the trash can, scream at the top of his lungs.
This was not one of those times.
In fact, if you watched the postgame interview last night on Fox Sports Indiana, you saw a bit of a sardonic smirk on Jim O'Brien's face.
He knew the 26-point loss in Philadelphia was an aberration.
That wasn't Danny Granger, shooting 2-of-14. That wasn't Roy Hibbert, looking confused and hesitant in the post. That wasn't Mike Dunleavy, banging shots off the back iron. That certainly wasn't Darren Collison, missing point-blank shots at the rim.
"Sometimes you’re the pounder, sometimes you’re the poundee," O'Brien said. "We were the poundee tonight. They outplayed us in every category. … It was just one of those nights."
Doug Collins was dizzy. The Pacers were disoriented.
And things spun out of control last night in Philadelphia. Though they had three days off and the Sixers were coming off a wrenching one-point overtime road loss the night before, the Pacers fell behind by 15 in the first quarter, 26 at halftime, 32 in the fourth period and wound up losing 101-75 in their worst performance of the young season.
The Sixers' coach spent the second half in the locker room dealing with symptoms of vertigo that have cropped up from time to time since he suffered a concussion during the summer. Tyler Hansbrough can relate.
The Pacers' coach seemed like a guy who couldn't believe what he just saw. Young teams are prone to inconsistency, but this was extreme.
All of the things that had gone right in the previous two wins – nice inside-outside offensive balance, occasional bursts of strong defense fueling important runs, impressive energy and aggression – went wrong Wednesday.
The Pacers' four leading scorers – the aforementioned Granger, Hibbert, Collison and Dunleavy – combined to shoot 12-of-53. That's 22.6 percent.
Just one of those nights? Consider: the Pacers shot 38.6 percent in the paint. Which is to say they missed more than 60 percent of their easiest shots. Chris Denari joked during the broadcast that he had to take off his shoes to count the number of missed layups.
So yes, the offense was awful, the defense was absent and this was one of those mind-numbing, hand-wringing games. But one bad night does not a trend make. So keep your hand away from the panic button and see what happens Friday night when the Pacers host the Bucks.
We don't know who the real Pacers truly are just yet – and might not for awhile. But we can be reasonably sure they aren't the team you saw in Philly.