On Tuesday night, due to COVID issues forcing the postponement of the Washington Wizards-Brooklyn Nets game, the Pacers got an extremely rare opportunity to play in front of a national TV audience on TNT to fill in the scheduling gap. By the time the game wrapped up it was clear why the Pacers may need future postponements to even sniff being considered for national TV ever again.
A 29-point loss to a Miami Heat team without Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Victor Oladipo, Markieff Morris and Caleb Martin and a Miami Heat team who had 4 out of 5 starters who were undrafted. It was embarrassing, it was maddening, it was sad and told the story for the Pacers this season. They cannot get up for big games or even any game for that matter. As a currently constructed roster, it’s just a group of guys with no cohesion or direction and no unity. Tuesday night was the latest in a string of embarrassing losses for a franchise just days removed from owner Herb Simon telling everyone who would listen how much he loved “our little team” and thought they could “go pretty far, we just have to show it.”
Well, they showed us alright.
Chris Duarte and Caris LeVert each posted 17 points, Myles Turner had another uneven performance to cement reason #1,935 why he can’t be trusted game-t0-game. Domantas Sabonis managed only 12 points and the newly-extended Malcolm Brogdon a grand total of 1 point before leaving with yet another injury. The Pacers fell to 13-19 and seem to be stuck in the 13th spot of the Eastern Conference only by luck that there are teams like the Detroit Pistons and Orlando Magic behind them.
It’s long past time to blow this project up. How much longer can this go on and what’s the hold up with beginning a rebuild? Does ownership really believe a rebuild will scare off fans? Have they seen Gainbridge Fieldhouse during a home game that doesn’t feature Steph Curry? The fans are already socially distancing themselves from the Pacers. A rebuild would be welcome. A rebuild would actually show a sense of realization that you can’t keep running back a roster with the same oft-injured guys and expecting the following season to be different if only everyone stays healthy. That’s not realistic and it’s downright idiotic in all honesty.
The Pacers have gotten their miles (no pun intended) out of myles Turner. He’s never going to be THE guy no matter how much he thinks he can. Both sides need a change of scenery. Domantas Sabonis is a good player. Is he a #1 on any other NBA franchise that has aspirations of winning a championship? No. Then there’s Caris LeVert, T.J. Warren, Jeremy Lamb, T.J. McConnell, Brad Wanamaker, the list goes on of guys who are just filling a roster spot but not making anyone watching think they are untouchable. The lone future piece the Pacers have is potentially rookie Chris Duarte, who has shown flashes this season but has yet to be able to be as consistent on a game in, game out basis that a star needs to be. He can get there but it will take time.
On Wednesday’s edition of Kevin & Query the guys tried to figure out the true issues that plague the Pacers and what the appetite for true change is in ownership.
“Indiana looked like a team that had no interest in being there. They have good players, but they do not fit together. It’s time to blow it up.” – Jake Query
“This roster construction is terrible. They lost the points in the paint! Why do you continue to commit to two bigs? There is no advantage of Turner and Sabonis on either side of the floor.” – Kevin Bowen
It’s an organization-wide issue. When/if the Pacers do to actually begin the rebuilding process are they letting Kevin Pritchard, who assembled this roster, de-construct it and build a new one? Will he be working the phone lines when it comes to trades? How many more bites of the apple does he get in terms of making roster decisions, draft picks and handing out contract extensions? It goes to show the problems are deeper than those just on the roster but start at the top. If this organization is going to get serious about not being an afterthought in the league then real change needs to occur.
To hear the full conversation, as well as if they believe owner Herb Simon will change his mind on the state of the roster, 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!