The Pacers are 2-8 in their last ten road games, losing by an average of just over 11 points in the eight losses. But the last four road games, all losses due to varying problems but causing equal frustration, have called into question the Pacers’ toughness and competitive spirit.
Key games at Charlotte, Milwaukee and Toronto in particular saw the Pacers at their worst. Looking like a team out of sync with not enough energy nor team leadership to ever put themselves in position to win, instead taking double-digit losses.
While the Pacers started strong in New York against a floundering Knicks team, they were unable to stop a second-half run by the Knicks that ended up steamrolling the Pacers for a second, late-game collapse in Madison Square Garden.
So, now the Pacers visit the Celtics, a top contender in the East, fully motivated to track down the top spot currently held by Cleveland. Expecting a win by the Pacers seems far fetched after what we’ve witnessed in those past four performances, but expecting a far better level of play is not. The time is now for playing with a sense of urgency comparable to what the Pacers will need on the road in the playoffs to put themselves in position to win games down the stretch.
This was a primary topic on the latest Locked on Pacers episode along with a few issues derived from Zach Lowe’s latest piece on the Pacers and Paul George. Check it out.