It's become a crazy season for the Indiana Pacers. For five months, the team teetered on the brink of self-annihilation, slowly sinking to become one of the bottom four teams in the league as players, fans and coaches (especially coaches) wondered what the hell was going on with this team.
As the Pacers wrapped up their fourth win in five games last night against the Pistons, the confusion continues, now in a different direction. Why are they winning now? Don't they don't know it doesn't matter? Depending on tonight's results throughout the NBA, the Pacers could be eliminated from playoff contention after their game against the Wizards tonight. We shouldn't even be talking about playoff elimination at this point. This is the time for the John Wall Sweepstakes! But as Danny Granger regains last season's form, Brandon Rush drops the psycho act, Roy Hibbert avoids foul trouble and T.J. Ford sits on the bench, the Pacers are winning. Just a little late.
Troy Murphy tried to clear things up, only to make things even more befuddled. Murphy said, "There are some things you just can't understand. You can't understand the pyramids, the Kennedy assassination and the 2009-2010 Indiana Pacers." That sums it up.
What I do understand is that the Pacers are finally playing with a little chip on their collective shoulders as they've become recommitted to defense while taking advantage of the opposition's trend to "overlook" their game against the blue and gold. Granger actually becoming efficient on offense again as changed everything as well. Coach Jim O'Brien reiterated again Tuesday that he won't play players based on preparing for next year. It's still only about winning.
"We get paid to win," O'Brien said. "I'll play the guys I think give us the best chance of winning. Flat out and simple. There won't be any deviating from that."
More links after the jump.
- AP Story
- Box Score
- NBA.com Recap
PACERS: Inside the Game: Pacers 98, Pistons 83
Bruno's Inside The Game report has all of the numbers, notes, quotes and highlights.
Pacers beat Pistons, but it's a little too late
Mike Wells reports on the Pacers using a never-give-up attitude that allowed them to roll over the DOA Pistons.
O'Brien still going after wins
In Wells' notebook today, the reporter notes that coach Jim O'Brien is excited to finish out the season by winning (everything O'Brien says is meant to antagonize fans...I'm sure of it), assistant coach Dick Harter being honored, and T.J. Ford may sit longer than originally expected.
Pacers 98, Pistons 83: Playoff chances officially finished
The Detroit News recaps last night's game from the Detroit perspective.
Frustrated Kuester barks at official, gets ejected
The Detroit Free Press chose to focus on Kuester's ejection in the third quarter from last night's game.
Pistons are toast, and John Kuester should have to watch until the bitter end – plus Dumars will use mid-level exception
Speaking of Kuester, the blog Piston Powered believes Kuester should have been forced back into the stands after being ejected so he could watch the crap he's been coaching. Brilliant idea!
About Last Night: Hopefully the Detroit Pistons can find their Danny Granger this offseason
The Pistons want a player like Danny Granger. I'm guessing Ben Gordon just isn't cutting it.
The Pacers will take any win they can get
Mike Wells blogs about Brandon Rush and his increased level in play of late.
Preview for tonight's matchup at Conseco "Reggie Miller" Fieldhouse.