The Pacers entertain the Atlanta Hawks tonight at the Fieldhouse with record futility hanging in the balance. After losing eleven straight games, the Pacers are a loss to the Hawks away from matching the club record for consecutive losses.
If the Pacers can't beat the Hawks tonight, just when are they going to win? Look ahead to the next five games and you see the following teams: Houston, San Antonio, Miami, Chicago, and Cleveland. Uh-oh. Do any of those games look like Ws? I don't think so. That would put the losing streak at 17. Even if Jermaine O'Neal plays in all of those games, a Pacers win will be an upset.
A win is the only option for the Pacers tonight if they have any hopes to salvage the rest of the season. Of course, the injury status of several key players remains a problem. Bruno's preview mentioned that J.O., Tinsley, Foster, Harrison, and Daniels couldn't practice yesterday. Daniels and Harrison aren't expected to play and the others are day-to-day. If they hope to end that losing streak tonight, then the injury corps has to find a way to go. Otherwise, they better carve out some more room in the loss column because they'll be hanging a few more Ls in the near future.