The Indiana Pacers are staring an 0-4 road trip squarely in the eye after letting a win slip through their hands (literally) last night against the Golden State Warriors. With games this weekend at Portland and Denver before heading home, a couple more losses could make this a season-defining trip. The tipping point when the immediate results of the here and now officially give way to the future.
Last night, T.J. Ford, Solomon Jones and James Posey all collected DNP-CDs. All three would rank near the top of anyone's list of players not considered in any future plans for the Pacers. I figured something was up when Ford tweeted earlier in the day, "Remember the unexpected is always around the corner #stayfocus."
Considering the results haven't been great with the vets, it makes sense to ride the young players and see what they can offer. A.J. Price struggled last night, but giving him a long look at the backup role won't drastically alter the season to make it any worse than it is right now. Plus, some of the young players on the roster may be topics of trade discussions as we head toward the trade deadline. As the losses mount, so do the external factors .
Despite the recent losses, the offense is trending in the right direction. Late game execution has been a problem and last night killed the Pacers. Well, the 27 points Golden State scored off turnovers killed the Pacers, but there were still plenty of opportunities for the team to overcome that glaring number and still win.
The next step is for Jim O'Brien to trust some of the young players to play down the stretch. Paul George and Tyler Hansbrough have shown their not afraid to make plays. They may not make the right play every time, may even cost the team a win, but I'd rather have active players looking to make something happen than the stagnant offense I saw last night. Brandon Rush treated the ball like a hot potato when he could've been stepping into a big three-point shot.
So why not go all in with a look at the future? The season is going nowhere fast so the results can't get much worse.
After the jump, more stories on the loss last night including a little nugget from Mike Wells on Larry Bird's travelling companion the past few days.
- Box score
PACERS: Game Rewind: Warriors 110, Pacers 108
Game Rewind has analysis, stats, highlights, notes and quotes from the Pacers-Warriors game Wednesday night at Golden State.
Pacers blow 11-point lead in loss to Warriors
Mike Wells reports on the Pacers' blown opportunity for a road win at Golden State.
Hibbert misses Warriors game - IndyStar.com
Mike Wells empties the notebook with more on the Pacers adjusting their lineup with Roy Hibbertout. Also, former Portland GM, Kevin Pritchard has been with the team for a few days offering Larry Bird a fresh perspective to review his team.
Ellis' 36 points, last-second basket lift Warriors
Rusty Simmons reports on the Golden State win.
- AP: Warriors beat Pacers on Ellis' jumper
DNP-CD for Ford | Pacers Insider
Mike Wells comments on T.J. Ford sitting out last night in favor of A.J. Price.
Recap #41: Golden State Warriors 110, Indiana Pacers 108 - Monta Ellis FTW! Dorell Wright Plays Well Against Danny Granger - Golden State Of Mind
Poor Man's Commish has the GSoM side of the story.
Indy Can’t Close Out Either Half, Loses to GSW
Jared Wade breaks down the loss in Oakland.
Monta Ellis' jumper lifts Golden State Warriors over Indiana Pacers - San Jose Mercury News
Jonathan Okanes reports on Monta Ellis sealing the deal for Golden State.
Former Etiwanda player Collison is sparkling in NBA; he scores 30 points in Indiana Pacers' loss to L.A. Clippers
DC's hometown paper feature the local boy done good on his return to the L.A. area.
Stanko having breakout year in Euroleague
Bruno tracks down some more info on the solid year Stanko Baracis putting up in the Euroleague.
Nets' Murphy asks for trade
With the Carmelo Anthonydeal going nowhere, Troy Murph has reportedly asked to by Tinsley'd and not stay with the Nets while they try to move him.
Home Advantage In Sports: A Scientific Study Of How Much It Affects Winning - SBNation.com
Jon Bois digs through some numbers on home court advantage and finds the Pacers fare much better at home than on the road.
NBA's Substantial Home Court Advantage: What Makes Players Worse On The Road?
The NBA has a larger home court advantage than any other of the Big 4 leagues. Why? Because of the nature of rest. Tom Ziller expands the discussion of home court advantage in the NBA.