The Pacers went from poor to pathetic on Wednesday, falling behind early and never recovering before the final buzzer mercifully sounded to give the Bucks a 99-85 win.
The Pacers were down 60-34 at the half when assistant coach Dan Burke summed up the feelings of anyone watching the blowout. Brooke Olzendam interviewed Burke just before the start of the third quarter, starting the interview by saying, "Coach, in one word, the first half was frustrating." Burke quickly responded by saying, "Frustrating or terrible?"
Yep, the Pacers were terrible in the first half and then maintained that terrible level of play through the third quarter, falling behind by 30 points before eventually handing over the mess to garbage time in the fourth quarter.
The Pacers found no solutions to the offensive woes that appear to be wearing them out as a team, while the Bucks simply did whatever they wanted. Not only was there a lack of fight in the Pacers, always a step slow to the 50-50 balls in play, but the team also seemed to lack a clue as to how they could generate a decent shot in the half court.
In the third quarter, it appeared the starting unit flat out stopped trying to run any offensive sets, instead standing around while one player tried to take his man one-on-one. For the game, the inefficiency of the Pacers starters was staggering (well, unless you watched, then it made perfect sense). For the game, the starting unit combined to score 33 points on 45 field goal attempts.
There really isn't a positive aspect of the game worthy of mention. Tyler Hansbrough's play off the bench didn't change the game, but he did bring his usual energy and even mixed things up a bit in the second half, ending the game with a team high 17 points.
For the Bucks, Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings led the way with 16 points apiece and appeared set to clown the Pacers all night, if need be. It wasn't needed.
The Pacers fall to 3-7 on the season and head home to face the ghosts of Pacers past when they play the Dallas Mavericks.
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