I've lost count of the number of times Jermaine O'Neal has overlooked his knee and ankle injuries to give the Pacers everything he has on the court. He did it again Tuesday night, as the Pacers refused to let go of their playoff hopes. J.O.'s effort wasn't enough in the end as the Pistons rode a monstrous third quarter to a 100-85 win over the Pacers. Quick thoughts.
- The Pacers did come out on fire jumping on the Pistons for a 20-6 lead midway through the first quarter. Jamaal Tinsley didn't shoot the ball but ended up with 8 first quarter assists setting up teammates with shots they were all knocking down. When I say 'all' I mean all as in Granger, Murphy, J.O and Diogu all cashed in Tinsley assists for buckets.
- Tinsley had a very strange night with no FG or FT attempts.
- The Pistons overcame a three point half time deficit to outscore the Pacers in the third quarter, 35-18. The Pistons closed out the last seven minutes of the third, with 28 points punctuated by a buzzer beater by Chauncey Billups to send the Pistons to the fourth quarter up 14.
- With Orlando not in action, the Pacers lost another half game to fall two games behind the Magic. That is not good news as the Pacers try to run their streak of playoff seasons to ten.
- What is good news for the playoff push, is that the Pacers upcoming schedule offers a desperate team a chance to pick up some wins with Charlotte, Boston, Philly, and Milwaukee on the horizon. Shhh, you don't have to mention that these teams are hardly gimmees for the Pacers.