By DJ Siddiqi @DJSiddiqi on April 1, 2014
It would seem the sky is falling in Indiana, as the Indiana Pacers have now dropped behind the Miami Heat for first place in the Eastern Conference after falling to the San Antonio Spurs (103-77) on Monday night. It was the Pacers' sixth loss in their last eight games.
Here are five questions Indiana must answer to solidify their contender status.
The Indiana Pacers have been a mess offensively all season long, but their offensive woes have been magnified due to their recent struggles. The Pacers' assist ratio is down almost a full point since the trade deadline, from 16,1 to 15.2. They currently rank 27th in the entire NBA in assist ratio. If the Pacers don't learn how to pass, they won't be Eastern Conference champions.
Evan Turner has never lived up to his No. 2 overall selection status since being drafted in 2010. The issue is, although he doesn't need to be anything more than a role player with the Pacers, he has struggled since being acquired at the trade deadline. Turner is shooting less than 41 percent from the field and is averaging just seven points per game in 20 minutes per game.
The Pacers have been horrid offensively, from their starting lineup to their bench, since Feb. 20. The Pacers have gone 11-10 since that date, while Indiana has the third-worst scoring bench in the entire NBA. Evan Turner and Luis Scola have contributed little to nothing as the bench's top players.
It seems like when things aren't going well for the Pacers, things get really bad. The team needs to learn how to respond to adversity by banding together, not by playing selfish team ball. George Hill and Lance Stephenson had heated words in Indiana's loss to San Antonio on Monday night. The Pacers have failed to crack 80 points in five of their last six games.
The Pacers' recent struggles have seemed to coincide with Paul George's recent struggles, and it's no big surprise, considering George is the team's best player. In March alone, George shot .372 from the field and .297 from three-point range. To no one's surprise, the team went 8-10 during that stretch. If the Pacers want to capture the East, they need George to play like one of the best.
December 22, 2014 by Vinny Lanni
The Phoenix Suns have a surplus of guards on their roster, and one of them may be on the move. Should the Suns trade Goran Dragic and get some new pieces? Read More
December 22, 2014 by Court Zierk
See how every team stacks up in these Week 8 NBA power rankings. Read More
December 22, 2014 by RantSports Staff
In the surprise news of the day, Josh Smith has been released by the Detroit Pistons, marking an all-time low for the 29-year-old. Read More
December 22, 2014 by Brian Brennan
LaMarcus Aldridge has joined Clyde Drexler in the discussion for the Portland Trail Blazers' best player ever. Read More
December 22, 2014 by Michael Terrill
If the opportunity for the Brooklyn Nets to trade Deron Williams presents itself, they must jump at the chance to do so. Read More
Why is Damian Lillard the most clutch player in the league? Read More
December 22, 2014 by Richard Nurse
The Miami Heat finally found a way to gel through the injuries. Read More
December 22, 2014 by Ian McEwan
The Lakers show no resemblance to Byron Scott, and that must change. Read More
Nick Young may be the Lakers' bellwether the rest of the season. Read More
December 22, 2014 by Joseph Crevier
Jermaine O'Neal's highly-anticipated return to the NBA has garnered a ton of interest from teams around the league. Read More
December 22, 2014 by Dan Schultz
Previewing and predicting Monday night's game between Eastern Conference heavyweights the Toronto Raptors and Chicago Bulls. Read More
December 21, 2014 by petermallett
The New Orleans Pelicans are hurting at SF, but swinging a deal for Jeff Green will take some tact. Read More