The Indiana Pacers finish up their season tomorrow night at Washington, but the game will be a mere afterthought regardless of how well the Pacers play the Wizards. Last night's loss to the elite Orlando Magic grounded the Pacers in reality after a late season flurry of wins, the majority of which came against suspect competition.
While the summer of 2011 has been the target date for taking a big leap in the right direction, there has to be a desperate effort to make something happen this summer to fortify the infrastructure of the future. Just how this will be done is anybody's guess and regardless of the change, the results next year won't be much better unless the team stumbles upon some long-overdue good luck.
Then there's the uncertain future of the team as a whole in Indianapolis. Forget the roster, the team's efforts to negotiate with the Capital Improvement Board to get some relief in operating Conseco Fieldhouse is moving into a critical time.
So critical in fact, that the positive, can-do President of Pacers Sports and Entertainment, Jim Morris is no longer sounding so positive in laying out his case. WTHR reports today that nothing has changed with the Pacers efforts to strike a deal with the CIB.
Morris re-iterated owner Herb Simon's desire to keep the team in Indy but then refused to sugar-coat the team's options should nothing change.
"Herb Simon has said steadfastly the team is not for sale. The object is to keep it in Indianapolis. The only reason he bought it was to give Indianapolis a big league team in the NBA," Morris said.
But if the city were unable to pick up the tab for Conseco? Morris said, "I think that would mean we'd have to explore all our options. The fact of the matter is there are a lot of cities in North America and around the world who would love to have a big league team."
Ouch. Suddenly, trying to find a point guard replacement for Earl Watson doesn't seem like the most critical story to follow this summer.
After the jump, a few more links of interest from the loss last night.
- AP game report
PACERS: Torrid Magic spoil Pacers' final home game, 118-98
Bruno's Inside the Game report has all of the numbers, notes, quotes and highlights from the loss last night.
Magic sprint to huge lead, top Pacers
Jeff Rabjohns reports on the Pacers' loss leaving Jim O'Brien with nothing good to say after the game.
Bring on the Bobcats
Brian Schmitz reports on the Magic looking primed and ready for the first round of the playoffs blowing away the Pacers last night.
Orlando Magic 118, Indiana Pacers 98 - Orlando Pinstriped Post
Ben Q Rock recaps the Magic win over at OPP.
Pacers boss Bird has quite a summer job ahead of him
Bob Kravitz wades through the issues facing Larry Bird and the Pacers as they head into the offseason.
ISN Notebook Following Pacers Regular Season Home Finale
Jeremiah Johnson has post-game interviews and other notes of interest to wrap up the home finale.
Magic maintain lead on Lakers with easy win at Indiana
John Oehser recaps the game for NBA.com.
Pump your brakes on Hayward
Mike Wells cautions against hyping up Gordon Hayward as a player that can change the fortunes of the Pacers.
Frustrating season ending on high note for Dunleavy
Bruno's Caught in the Web focuses on Mike Dunleavy improved play over the last month of the season.
Thinking Out Loud: Why Would A D-League Player Turn Down An NBA Contract?
Scott Schroeder breaks down possible, hypothetical reasons as to why Williams would down an NBA contract with the Pacers from 'most likely' to 'least likely.'