This is why we play 82 games. It is a marathon not a sprint, just ask the Indiana Pacers.
This team played lights out for the first 50 games or so and now cannot seem to get out of their own way. After Sunday’s loss at home against the hapless Hawks of Atlanta it was time the Pacers did some serious soul searching.
They were embarrassed on their home court against an inferior team. This isn’t anything new for this team lately as they have lost their previous six road games and at press time trail the Miami Heat by a full game with just a few left.
It got so bad Sunday that the Pacer coach benched Roy Hibbert for the last 30 minutes of the game after he went scoreless and secured zero rebounds. Team president Larry Bird barely budged as he watched the league’s No. 1 defense allow Atlanta to shoot 56.2 percent from the field and make 12 of 27 3-pointers.
Indiana followed a 7-for-35 shooting effort in the first half with a 15-for-43 showing in the second half.
Coach Frank Vogel was so upset by the sluggish start that he yanked all five starters midway through the first quarter. Hibbert, who looked disengaged on the bench, did not speak to reporters afterward.
“He looks worn down,” Vogel said. “He’s a 7-foot-2 player who has played every game this year, which is very rare. He looks to me to be worn down. He’s given good effort but he looks to me to be worn down. Combine that with the fact that they have a 3-point shooting 5-man most of the game. It’s a difficult matchup.”
The fact is this team has no shot come post season playoffs. Once again it is Miami’s conference to lose. The Pacers have been a money burner at the bet window as well, especially on the road, losing big money on a regular basis.
Based on the challenges this Pacers team has shooting the ball combined with how well they play team defense they have cashed a lot of sports betting tickets with the UNDER total being the consistent play for the entire season.
Moving forward, sports bettors should remember to bet with their head not over it.
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