IC Cold Links: Hibbert, Granger Come Up Empty Down The Stretch

Danny Granger and Roy Hibbert leaned against the scorer's table, patiently waiting for a stop in play.

When the whistle finally blew, allowing the the Pacers' top two options to enter the game, the team's lead was down to two points with 10:12 left to play against the Bucks.

As the two players began walking onto the court, Hibbert clapped his hands hard looked Granger in the eye and said,"Let's go!" Granger returned a confident nod.

It was winning time which meant it was time for the two leaders to carry their team down the stretch and close out a victory. The scene gave me a little chill. I absolutely loved it! Hibbert maintaining his vocal leadership, firing up the team's best player, both appearing ready to save the day and secure the win.

Unfortunately the good intentions of Granger and Hibbert weren't enough to overcome their poor execution. Granger's first shot missed. The Bucks took the lead at the other end and then Hibbert missed on the following possession. The score was going the wrong way and Granger and Hibbert seemed helpless to stop it.

Granger finished the final 10 minutes shooting 1 for 6 from the floor along with one of his seven turnovers. Hibbert would go 0 for 3 with a couple of turnovers. Hibbert apeared to be pressing in the post all night as he struggled to strike a balance between being patient and holding the ball too long, making an assertive move and rushing his shot. Hibbert's rough night was especially frustrating since he was covered down the stretch by Luc Mbah a Moute or Ersan Ilyasova, not two imposing post defenders.

A frustrating night at the Fieldhouse ended with a frustrating finish for the Pacers' leaders. Now we'll see how both can apply the lessons learned from a sloppy night when they take on Denver on Tuesday.

After the jump, a few links of interest from last night's loss.

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