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Ahead of the season the Pacers said they wanted to avoid the play-in game.  They’re well on their way at the moment, though not in the way they had hoped.  9-15 to start the season, in the middle of a three-game losing streak, losers of four of their last five games and in front of sparse home crowds who have seemingly had it with a team that continues to frustrate by their lack of substance, personality and most importantly, talent.

I wrote in a previous article that the team ran it back and the fans ran away and that seems more accurate as the games go on.  The Pacers are dead last in average attendance at 13,120 per home game and Wednesday’s game against Trae Young at the Atlanta Hawks saw even less than that. That was the start of a six-game home stand that could paint a bleak picture for an organization hoping to keep fans engaged in the team when we’ve only just entered December.  The Pacers need wins and quick, otherwise this season could quickly go off the rails.  Are they capable of turning things around or have we finally jumped the shark on the roster as is?  It certainly appears the organization went to the well of running it back one too many times.

Domantas Sabonis is the best of a group that’s good but not great.  Would he be a #1 on any teams actually competing for a championship?  Not likely.  He’s a nice piece, as is Myles Turner.  Same for Caris LeVert and Malcolm Brogdon but none of them are irreplaceable.  None are “put the team on my back” guys.  They’re just….guys.  They could be a try hard bunch that pushes opponents to their limits, but they aren’t. They consistently see leads evaporate, especially in third quarters, and they don’t play very exciting basketball.  If you’re bad but play fun basketball, you could at least keep some fan interest but being bad and boring, not to mention difficult for most fans to watch on TV and you have the NBA equivalent of a death sentence.

Can things be saved?  Will the front office see the writing on the wall and make some honest to God roster changes ahead of the trade deadline?  On Thursday’s Kevin & Query, the guys talked with Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files to get the latest on the team, Rick Carlisle’s mindset with the team and if we’re already at the point of no return.  It sure seems like one thing this team lacks without question is leadership.  A guy like Malcolm Brogdon, who signed an extension just months ago, seems unwilling or incapable of rallying the troops, same goes for other veterans.  Rick Carlisle can only do so much without suiting up.  It’ll be up to the players to get things on track and the front office to realize business needs a kick in the ass with a fan base flirting dangerously close to apathetic.

To check out the full discussion with Scott Agness, click the link below and be sure to listen to Kevin & Query every weekday morning from 7-10 on 93.5 & 107.5 The Fan!