If history has shown us anything, hard times will reveal true characters. The mask of possible contention has come off the face of the Indiana Pacers after their defeat at the hands of the Miami Heat. As the frustration mounts and the inevitable elimination creeps up on them, teammates are quick to dish out the blame instead of coming together.
After the disappointing performance by the Pacers’ Lance Stephenson (only nine points), teammates such as David West and Paul George voiced their opinion on his war of words with LeBron James and how it may have cost them the game.
This type of leadership, or lack thereof, is why the Pacers have found themselves on this roller coaster of a season. How can your leaders comment on trash-talking, but not take responsibility for not guarding LeBron all game? It wasn’t Stephenson’s antics that caused LeBron to go off for 32 points, it was the idea of defensive intensity that was not instilled by George or West.
Then we have the real “Mr. Unreliable” in Roy Hibbert. For the sixth time in 21 games, Hibbert didn’t score one point. At 7-foot-2, he couldn’t find the basket by mistake? It is unacceptable to allow such a talented player to fall so short of his expectations, especially when the team suffers from it.
And to top it all off, Hibbert blames coach Frank Vogel for not getting him enough touches. Last time I checked, if you’re the tallest one on the floor, you have some kind of advantage that allows you to rebound! Oh wait, he had five rebounds.
Indiana cannot hide behind the No. 1 seed they possess or the hope of doing better next time. They are a bunch of individuals who have made the conscious decision to pick themselves over their team and for that, they deserve their fate.