I am speechless. I am without speech.
The Indiana Pacers had an opportunity to close out the Washington Wizards in game 5 tonight after going up 3-1 in their second round series. Instead, they go out and lose — wait for it — 102-79(!), trailing by more than 30 at home for the second time this postseason.
More stunning was the rebounding numbers. The final rebound count was 62-23 in favor of the Wizards, the biggest rebounding gap in NBA history. Ever. In the regular season and the playoffs. It was also the most number of rebounds any team has ever given up in the playoffs (previous high was 57).
And for all the recent talk about how Hibbert has re-discovered his firm while Gortat lost his — well tonight, the Bond villain had 31 and 16 on 13-15 shooting compared to Hibbert’s 4 and 2 on 2-7 shooting. But it would be wrong to blame this debacle entirely on Hibbert. It was definitely a team effort.
John Wall broke open the game with 27, his most in this series by far (previous high was 15). At the other end, George Hill was 1-8 for 3 points.
Paul George, coming off his career-high 39-point game, was limited to 15 on 5-15 shooting. David West was the only other Pacer in double figures with 17. But hey, at least the bench scored more than 2 points tonight (31)!
By now it should be clear that this Pacers team is like a box of chocolates: you never know what you’re gonna get. Tonight, it was a big, stinking turd.
On the bright side, the Pacers have 2 more games left to close this one out, and the next one is back in DC, where they are undefeated this postseason! But seriously, your guess is as good as mine which Pacers team will show up. And that’s the case even if this series goes 7.