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Pacers Links: Pacers can’t get going as the going gets tough

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The Pacers have to raise their level of effort and execution because the season won’t get any easier without Victor Oladipo.

NBA: Indiana Pacers at Washington Wizards Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

For the first time this season, the Pacers find themselves riding a three-game losing streak. Not only that, they are missing their team leader, Victor Oladipo not to mention his capable backup, Tyreke Evans.

After losing an early lead in Washington on Wednesday night, the going officially got tough for the short-handed Pacers against the Wizards. But this time, the Pacers didn’t get going. Instead they faded in a fashion we’ve rarely seen from this group.

The Pacers have had success thanks to their mental and physical toughness. A group of smart pros that often win simply by outworking their opponent. But last night all of that was missing, just like Oladipo. There are young guys in the mix making it more challenging, but the vets have to bring them along with a better example on the court.

The starting unit looked ready to roll after the opening tip. Myles Turner knocked down a couple of shots and the Pacers took and early lead. But the starters finished horribly, scoring just 24 of the paltry 64 points the Pacers put up in the final three quarters.

Turner was overextended trying to protect the rim as the Wiz were coming from all angles and he always seemed a step late. As it turned out, Turner ended his streak of games with a blocked shot. Officially, he was not given a blocked shot at Chicago in December, but we have the video of a block against Chandler Hutchison.

But no missed stats last night, so Turner’s should-be streak ends at 46 consecutive games which would tie one of Hakeem Olajuwon several streaks for 34th best all-time. Seemed fitting considering the overall effort by the team.

So now the Pacers play the Magic on a back-to-back after travel issues stole a few extra hours of sleep.

Can it get worse?

After the effort shown on Wednesday, the scary question is: Can it get better?

Check out the links:

Game Preview: Pacers at Magic | Indiana Pacers

Game Rewind: Pacers 89, Wizards 107 | Indiana Pacers

Pacers stay winless without Victor Oladipo, fall to Wizards - Indy Star

Travel arrangements cause Pacers to lose sleep - Indy Star

Magic vs. Pacers preview: Is today the day that Nikola Vucevic becomes an All-Star? - Orlando Pinstriped Post

Pacers Lose Three Straight Games For First Time In More Than A Year | WFNI ESPN 107.5 / 1070 The Fan | Indy's SportsCenter

Pacers show support for Victor Oladipo, but now must move on with the group they have – The Athletic

Grades: Indiana Pacers succumb to Wizardry, lose to Washington