Can't help wonder whether the effects of playing 3 games in 3 nights are finally beginning to show on the Indiana Pacers. After stringing together 15 consecutive home victories, the Pacers lost their second OT game in a row at Banker's Life Fieldhouse with an 89-84 decision to the Brooklyn Nets.
It was one of those sluggish games where the Pacers often got outhustled on offensive boards and the Nets made some tough shots to gut out an ugly win, even with Deron Williams, who sat out recovering his ankles.
Things got off to a bad start for the Pacers when David West went to the locker room a minute into the game after in inadvertent scratch to the eyeball. He came back in the second half and wasn't quite the same, putting up just 7 points on 2-11 shooting.
Worse was All-Star Paul George, who had one of his worst games ever with just 5 points on 1-10 shooting before fouling out. PG24 got zero respect from the refs tonight. Actually, the entire Pacers team got no respect, as they kept bailing the Nets out with one bad call after another. I call it like I see it — the Pacers are probably a notch above the Raptors on the NBA pegging order and got the calls the other night, but tonight the big market Nets got a huge helping hand from the officials.
Roy Hibbert, on the other hand, continues to struggle. It's not really a slump anymore if it has lasted the entire season. This is as good as he'll be, barring some miracle. He was absolutely abused — ABUSED — by Brook Lopez, who made Hibbert look slow and inept at times on his way to a game-high 25 points. Hibbert managed 12 points, 10 rebounds and 3 blocks, but shot a horrendous 5-18 from the field.
Jeff Pendergraph was the highlight for the Pacers. JP had his best game of the season with 14 points and 10 rebounds in just 17 minutes. He had the energy all night and I wonder why Frank Vogel didn't go with him more with the game on the line.
The Pacers are feeling understandably fatigued and cannot get to the All-Star break fast enough. That brilliant offense they showed over the past couple of weeks disappeared tonight as they shot just 34.4% from the field. Next up is Charlotte at home on Wednesday, and it will be a great opportunity to get back on track. We might even see Danny Granger's first appearance of the season, if rumors are to be believed. The Pacers need his offense badly.