When the Pacers first starting slumping before the All-Star break, I attributed it mostly to fatigue. Then, when they continued to do so after the break, it was because we were adapting to the new acquisitions Bynum, Turner, and Allen. Then, I speculated that maybe the team was bored with the regular season, and expected the Miami game to wake us up. And though we won that game, the Pacers and Heat have gone in polar opposite directions since.
I'm officially worried.
All season the media has been talking about the Pacers' historically elite defense. However, the Pacers are now playing historically bad offense. Offense so bad that, even though the defense is largely still there, we're losing to teams like 29-45 Cleveland by 14 points.
Today's loss has likely cost us the #1 seed and, deep down, I think we all know that we have very little chance of beating Miami without home court advantage. Assuming, of course, that we can even get that far.
Larry did everything he could to put together a title contender this year, and everyone else is squandering this very rare opportunity. With the salary cap concerns, we will likely never have a more talented team with this core than we have right now.
This is absolutely heartbreaking to watch.