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IC Cold Links: Pacers Keep Sputtering Through Season

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The Indiana Pacers finish up a four-game road trip tomorrow night in Chicago, as their strange season continues to sputter along.

Missed games have been the single most frustrating and impactful problem for the Pacers all season. Even at full strength, this team has a thin margin of error and is certainly capable of putting up clunkers last night, although that's actually speculation since we've never seen this team play at full strength. So there's no way to judge of well or poorly they might play.

Whenever there seems to be a sign of life, something pops up to disrupt the game plan. All of this was perfectly illustrated over the past few days, when Danny Granger continued his improved play of late in Houston, netting 36 points and leading a nice offensive effort. Then personal issues took Danny away for an unknown period of time and the team responds with won of their worst offensive nights of the year.

Granger wouldn't have saved the Pacers last night, but the lack of consistency in just which players are available has become almost comical. Consider that Roy Hibbert and Brandon Rush are the only two players to play in all 56 games so far, and we can debate how many game Rush has missed while being on the court.

This has to be frustrating for all involved because as an observer I'm certainly frustrated. Seems like the team is constantly trying to slog their way out of a quick sand pit. The team needs help so being bad at this point can be a good thing. Games like last night, though, are tough to watch.

More links after the jump including a look at just how bad this team has been this year.

Box score with highlights