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Two O’Brien-esque losses to Jazz and Suns

Maybe I’m being harsh here, but the Indiana Pacers have once again looked like a Jim O’Brien team the last couple of games, both home losses — to the Utah Jazz and then the Phoenix Suns.  Both teams have now swept the Pacers in the season series, and it brings back memories of when the spectacular collapse earlier in the season.

In both games, the Pacers didn’t deserve to win.  Against the Jazz they were down most of the game and then collapsed finally in the fourth to allow the Deron Williams-less team to run away with it.  Against the Suns, more of the same, except they pushed it to overtime before Channing Frye hit a buzzer beater in Brandon Rush’s face.  Yes, he hit a tough shot, but the Pacers didn’t deserve the W with the way they defended all night long.  Not being able to hit shots didn’t help either.

That said, you couldn’t fault them for effort — because they sure worked their tails off in both games, but the execution and defense weren’t there.  And both were winnable games and terrific opportunities to build some momentum heading into a brutal stretch of the season.  But now, even with Charlotte basically giving away the season, the Pacers can’t seem to build any ground.  At the moment, 8th seed is not a problem, but the 7th seed, with Philly streaking ahead to be around 0.500, is almost an impossibility.

On the bright side, Vogel is a positive guy, and the chances of the Pacers losing their confidence and falling into a mental lull again are much lower.

Let’s hope they can rebound against the Golden State Warriors, who have the exact same record of 26-32.