Jim O'Brien opened his post-game presser with a little background on how the Pacers could lose to the Sixers a night after playing well and showing some promise against the Pistons.
"Our guys played exhausted and we got outplayed, no question about it. Our guys are exhausted and they should be. We just played a five week schedule that is taxing. Everyone goes through a schedule that is challenging at some point during the year. We had nine back-to-backs and three sets of four games in five nights in five weeks. It takes its toll but you’ve got to play and you’ve got to win games."
That's a convenient way of deflecting criticism for any follow up questions about the team's execution in turning a 39-33 second quarter lead into a 57-50 halftime deficit en route to the loss. Missed shots? Tired legs. 21 turnovers? Mentally fatigued.
With the thin margin of error the Pacers play with, there's always something to point to as an issue contributing to the win, but the team rarely pulls together to overcome the hurdle placed in their path.
So now the Pacers six games in a row with at least one day off between games, but of course the opponents toughen up as well. After playing at Philly on Monday, the Pacers host the Los Angelese Lakers and Cleveland Cavaliers before a home-and-home with Toronto. In other words, no rest for the weary even with the days off.
After the jump, a few links of interest from the game last night. Oh and good luck to the Indianapolis Colts today in their AFC Championship game against the New York Jets! Stampede Blue has is all covered and I so mean all.
PACERS: Inside the Game: Sixers 107, Pacers 97
Bruno's Inside the Game report has all of the notes, quotes, numbers and highlights from the loss last night
Tired Pacers (4 games in 5 nights) can't keep up with Philadelphia
Jeff Rabjohns reports on the Pacers running out of gas against the Sixers.
Brand powers Sixers past Pacers
Kate Fagan reports on Elton Brand earning his big money by stepping up and doing his part to push the Sixers to a win last night.
Pacers Notebook: T.J. Ford just wants to play
T.J. Ford responded to Jim O'Brien's comments on Friday that the Pacers may want to trade Ford before the trade deadline. T.J. continues to play the good soldier just wanting a chance to play, whether in Indy or elsewhere. Larry Bird said he's not trying to trade T.J. right now, but that's seems like a reflexive response from the front office.
Rush might be turning the corner
Bruno's latest CITW daily acknowledges Brandon Rush's good play of late, although keeping a cautious eye on the second-year wing to see if he can establish some consistency in his play the rest of the season.
- SLAM ONLINE | " Q + A with Larry Bird
Excuses or explanation?
Jeff Rabjohns blogs about Jim O'Brien's post-game comments on the tough schedule catching up with the Pacers. The players weren't buying into it, after all this is the NBA and everyone deals with it at some point in the season.
Sixers Win Again, Inch Painfully Towards Playoff Spot
Liberty Ballers offers up a recap from a familiar point of view, wondering whether a win is good or bad at this point.
Dahntay Jones Teaches Offense
Jared Wade exposes Dahntay's unique offensive game over at 8.9.
- The four factors of winnng show the Pacers not able to take advantage of a better shooting night.