The Pacers Are Changing Priorities
Jerkyl and Hyde syndrome.
That's what the Indiana Pacers have right now without any cure in sight.
This season has taken a turn for the worse. After starting it as a complete unit, playing with extreme confidence, and stymying their opponents' offensive schemes with suffocating defense, the Pacers are playing Milwaukee Buck-style basketball. And yes, Buck fans, the truth hurts.
Now the entire Pacer organization is scrambling, searching for a remedy for this unforeseen perpetual headache.
From the onset, Frank Vogel and his charges had a goal to attain the Eastern Conference's top seed. They felt that last year, if they had secured the No 1 seed, the 2013 NBA Championship banner wouldn't be hanging from the American Airlines Arena rafters right now.
Priorities change. The Pacers are now the No 2 seed in the East, behind none other than the two-time defending champion Miami Heat.
Although not conceding the No 1 seed as of yet, Indiana is solely focusing on "playing better."
Easier said than done, right? Especially when your team is leaking oil.
Indiana's starting five has been putrid of late. Their offensive and defensive efficiencies are down, and rising star Paul George has started to look flustered, mediocre, and downright incompetent offensively.
George showed promise last season and started out strong this year. However, he's forcing his shot offensively and disallowing the flow of the game to come to him. His ill-timed shots and inability to efficiently score are hindering Indiana's offense.
Roy Hibbert is slowing down as we speak. Someone hit the brakes without telling the Pacer organization. He looks sluggish and downright worn out; pushing buttons on the remote can do that to older dudes, I guess. Given how many games this 7-foot specimen has played thus far this year, it's no surprise his huge frame is starting to show signs of lethargy.
Vogel, in the attempt to rest his starters, may not get what he wants. His team is floundering without anything encouraging to make note of.
Hopefully for their sake, the Pacers can still right the ship. If they can't, this year might be considered the ultimate failure, given how much time and effort they've exerted toward trying to achieve their goal.