The Pacers finished their 49-win regular season on Wednesday with a 105-95 loss at home to the Philadelphia 76ers, whose coach was relieved of his duties the very next day. The loss at Bankers Life Fieldhouse came on fan appreciation night, which was a microcosm of what the Pacers seemed to be for the entire month of April.
The Central Division champions, who have led the league in scoring defense for most of the season, look like a shell of the team that fought hard to reach the upper level of the Eastern Conference. The Pacers are one 20-point comeback away from a six-game losing streak, and have given up 90 points or more 10 times in their last 11 games.
This Indiana team deserves to be commended for the victories they have accrued and for capturing their first division championship in a decade. This team also deserves to be scrutinized for the total lack of cohesion, passion, and performance that they have shown recently. There is no Pacers team in recent history that has been so surprising so often, just to become so sloppy so quickly.
Whatever is wrong with the Indiana Pacers, they have very little time to fix it. If this team does not get their stuff together, then they will be viewed as one of the biggest meltdowns in NBA history.
Will the real Indiana Pacers please stand up?