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Pacers Loss May Linger

Steve from CelticsBlog shows some sympathy for the Pacers' "business trip" loss to Charlotte, a projected win that could've led to bigger things (playoffs).

A day later, there's some relief along with the deflation. I'm not expecting a magic ping pong ball to make the Pacers lottery winners, but one of the drawbacks to making the playoffs would've been watching that lottery.

The great thing about pushing this playoff run to the limit but coming up short is that there's a much better feeling for what the Pacers have right now. A few pieces, like Danny Granger, proved they're still developing nicely and can be relied upon as part of the puzzle going forward.

It also exposed the weak spots remaining on the roster. Consistent point guard play and front court defense and rebounding for starters. Face it, Charlotte's talent level isn't much worse than the Pacers. In fact, with their young talent, they are in better shape for the future. The Pacers just played better as a team over the past six weeks. Saturday night, they (Pacers) ran out of gas. The Pacers can't win those types of games on sheer talent, no matter what team in the league they're facing.

It will be interesting to see how the team plays in Washington. Fired up and firing on all cylinders, they'd still have a tough time beating the Wizards on the road. The Pacers are still desperate, but they're not stupid. A little emotional wind has to be out of their sails, no matter what they say. Yes, the math hasn't eliminated them yet but it would take a monumental choke job by the Hawks for the Pacers to sneak into the playoffs. Of course, this Pacer team has looked down before but never fails to scrap for all 48 minutes. No reason to believe they won't keep fighting through game 82.