It took over four months, but the Indiana Pacers finally ended their six-game losing streak dating back to June 3, 2013 when they lost Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals. After losing five straight preseason games, the Pacers put the hammer down on the Cleveland Cavaliers and walked away with a 102-79 victory.
For Pacers fans it means they can finally breath a sigh of relief. While preseason never means a lot — ask Indianapolis Colts fans what they think of preseason — it was tough to see the Pacers lose.
But thanks to a Cavaliers team that shot 29.5 percent, turned the ball over 22 times, and failed to play any kind of defense, the Pacers now have the monkey off their back.
One stat that stood out in the box score that is still concerning is rebounding. For the fifth time in six games, the Pacers — No. 1 rebounding team in 2012-13 — were outrebounded; this time by 16. After averaging 45.9 rebounds per game last season, the Pacers have only cracked 40 once this preseason.
It’s been a weird preseason for a Pacers team that was heralded as a Top-5 NBA team and a legitimate championship contender. Roy Hibbert hasn’t played like he did in the playoffs last season, George Hill is still struggling to guard his opposition and Danny Granger can’t seem to remain healthy.
Despite all that, a victory can at least cleanse the Pacers of their past for the time being. They have two games left before the regular season begins, which means they need to start clicking on both ends so they can carry the momentum into the start of the season. Cleveland was hopefully just the tip of the iceberg.