The Pacers defensive strides of late were stopped cold in their tracks by the San Antonio Spurs on Friday night as the visitors scored early and often to secure an important 126-121 win.
Tony Parker has been a brutal matchup for Pacer point guards for a few years now and it appears he had his way once again last night. Sounds like Jim O'Brien was quite frustrated with the defensive effort as a whole.
"We did some things in the first three quarters that you just scratch your head," O'Brien said. "Poor weak-side communication, poor weak-side rotation. If you don't execute your plan you lessen your chance to win the basketball game."
It's been well documented on how bad the Pacers have been defensively over the years. O'Brien put things even more in perspective after the game.
"We're not necessarily built to be a great defensive team," he said. "Right now our talent lends itself to scoring the fifth most points in the league and shooting well from the 3. I just don't think we are athletic enough to be the type of defensive team that allows you to get in the playoffs and allows you to do something in the playoffs."
Offensively, the Pacers seemed to play well against the Spurs, shooting over 50% from the field with six players in double-figures, led by Danny Granger with 35. Also, only seven turnovers on the night. The Spurs dominated the rebound and free throw differential which was too much for the Pacers to overcome.
With six games left in the season, the Pacers are one game from playing for pride. With a game on Sunday at Oklahoma City, the blue and gold will need to flash that pride or they will struggle to stop the Thunder just as they did the Spurs.