The Pacers loss to the Clippers was a painful one to watch. The only thing worse is the article in the Indystar written by Kravitz as he jumps from the Pacers bandwagon onto the Heat's. While everybody wants to blame the loss on the absence of Roy Hibbert, I for one am having none of that and won't use it as an excuse. Good teams find ways to win games even with key players out. None of us should be strangers to that reality given that outcome of last year's matchup against the Chris Bosh'less Heat. The Pacers lost last night had nothing to do with Hibbert being out and everything to do with the one thing that has plagued this ballclub all year long: Their bench. The Pacers' second unit has been the Achilles heel for them the entire season. This by all accounts was supposed to be a strength for them with the new additions brought in. Instead, it has been a big disappointment in particular with Gerald Green. On the bright spot of this is the lay of Ian Mahinmi and rookie Orlando Jones. Jones just can't seem to miss a shot (which is good considering he's of rookie). Once Granger rounds into form players like Johnson and Augustine will be even more dangerous as Granger's presence opens up the floor for others.
In spite of the lack of offensive production from the second unit, the Pacers have still managed to win games and remain one of the NBA's top teams heading into the postseason. If the Pacers can start getting production from their bench, the sky is the limit for them. One of the best moves the front office made before the trade deadline was "not" making one. Getting Granger back might be the best "acquisition" all year. He very well may be the missing link for the second unit and provide the extra push offensively the team has sorely lacked all year. That being said, pundents like Kravitz and the rest of the Miami bandwagon riders simply have no clue of what the Pacers are capable of. I say this even with the 14 game winning streak the Heat are currently on. Wth all their supposed firepower, the Heat still lack the size and depth they need to rebound. If these to teams meet in the playoffs, I believe Mahimi will be the difference in the series along with Hibbert. Until then, I'll kindly tune out the Heat fanatics and critics who refuse to give the Pacers any respect when it comes to ranking the top teams in the league. As long as the bench comes around, this team will go deep not the playoffs.