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Heat 98, Pacers 96: Yeesh

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The Indiana Pacers lost their third straigh game on Saturday afternoon, this time a 98-96 loss to the Miami Heat. The same Miami Heat team that has shown few signs of life over the past month. A Heat team that tipped off the game today losers of 15 straight games. The Pacers lost today because they simply weren't good enough to win. Yep, they weren't good enough to beat this Heat team that has been ridiculed as inept for weeks now.

Jermaine O'Neal and Jamaal Tinsley may have made a difference. But you can't use injuries as an excuse against the Heat. They have plenty to throw back at you. Nope, the Pacers were close, but just not good enough.

I'd love to hear from anyone who doesn't agree, but when Dwyane Wade was being, well, Dwyane Wade, the Pacers were toast. No one in blue could match the stretch run will of Wade. His 22 second half points led the way as the Heat took over the game in the second half and there was nothing the Pacers could do but take it.

Final thoughts:

  • God bless, Stacy Paetz! During her pre-game interview with O'B, she asked him what Stephen Graham has to do to get some playing time, referring to his good play when he did have a chance. O'B danced around it, talked about the log jam at his position and that he prefers to go with experience, blah, blah, blah. That's okay, we're starting to make some inroads. Keep the heat on, Stacy!
  • Stephen Graham finished the game with a DNP-CD. Grrrrrrr.
  • If you can't tell, I'm all about assessing the true value of this current roster. If there's a log jam maybe someone should be moved. One story that continues to develop is Kareem Rush. He's the most complete player the Pacers have right now. He's been playing great D at the 2 spot. He struggled shooting today, but shooting is his strength. Plus, he has the sweet finger roll. Rush can actually take the ball to the hole, under control, and finish. He's not going to the hoop a step too fast, half trying to draw a foul and half trying to finish like Dunleavy and Granger often do. Rush has really been a pleasant surprise that continues to impress.
  • Andre Owens answered the call today, playing significant minutes. Yes, his game is limited but he's sure fun to root for when he's on the court.
Well, the critical stretch with four winnable road games ends 1-3. Ouch. Next up, home games against Detroit, Houston, Orlando, San Antonio. Double ouch. The rest of February doesn't get much easier, so talk of the playoffs is admirable, but let's be real. The time is now to fully assess the roster, make some decisions and work like hell to make some changes over the next month.