What is the reason for the Indiana Pacers having so many ups and downs?
Wednesday’s Game 5 was a great example of what the Pacers can do if they have their heads straight; passion and intensity kept the team alive on the series. But, unfortunately, this type of performance doesn’t seem to be a trend this postseason.
Lance Stevenson had an amazing Game 2 but Indiana lost – the team was inconsistent despite his individual performance. Wednesday he showed up strong again when needed.
During the regular season the team was amazing, but had a terrible playoff run. The Atlanta Hawks applied way more pressure than expected, and not because they played very well; Indiana played badly.
Roy Hibbert’s performance against the Washington Wizards was unacceptable – again, too much inconsistency.
All these ups and downs slowly chip away at a team’s confidence. As much as Frank Vogel tried to keep the energy up you could see the disappointment on everyone’s faces every time the team lost a game after having just won one. The pattern repeated itself from the first round to the Eastern Conference Finals.
Is there anyone to blame?
Yes, everyone involved in this rollercoaster of a playoff run. Blame Hibbert for not being able to exploit his size consistently over a much smaller Miami Heat and a much weaker Wizards team. Blame Vogel for not managing to steer the team in a different way when clearly the problem was mental focus and stability. Blame Paul George for not being able to take over games like the greats have been able to do in order to win championships.
The team has got the talent and the playoff experience, but in order to take its game to the next level and win this series and eventually a championship, the Pacers need to face pressure and run over it and they need to do it consistently.
Good luck next game, Pacers. May David West and George Hill keep improving their games and may the stars step up theirs during every game from now on so Larry Bird can get the title he deserves as a front office executive.
Don’t count on it, Indiana fans.