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.
March 27, 2015 by Casey Sherman
The NBA Eastern Conference's final two playoff spots are wide open. Which of the possible teams pose the biggest upset threat to the top seeded teams in a playoff series? Read More
March 27, 2015 by Timothy Downs
Without Kevin Durant, the Oklahoma City Thunder's playoff aspirations are pretty much finito. Read More
March 27, 2015 by Richard Nurse
Michael Beasley is slowly turning his chance at redemption into a disaster with the Miami Heat. Read More
March 27, 2015 by Jared Doyle
The Miami Heat's recent rash of injuries is continually costing them close games that could ultimately determine their playoff seeding. Read More
Hassan Whiteside will be key to the Miami Heat's playoff hopes in their inevitable first-round matchup with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Read More
March 27, 2015 by Gil Alcaraz IV
It's not every day you see NBA players showing this kind of compassion for those less fortunate than them. Read More
March 27, 2015 by Dan Schultz
Take a look at the preview and predictions regarding Friday night's game between Western Conference rivals the Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs. Read More
March 26, 2015 by Brendan Patel
Ryan Kelly has been a disappointment for the Los Angeles Lakers this season. Read More