Pacers Fall to the Celtics (Again) and Officially Become Not a Good Team
I’ve been dealing with traveling through the Northeast Snowpocalypse so I actually still haven’t even seen last night’s game yet. I may share some thoughts after I watch it later but since they have the Wizards tonight, it’s probably just on to the next one. Just reading some recaps and looking at the box scores, it doesn’t look like anything unusual happened: Indy played OK for a while then the offense fell apart as Roy Hibbert had another turd of a game and the much better team took control of the game. It’s rinse and repeat at this point.
The only other thing of interest specific to this game is that, going into it, the Pacers had a point differential of 0.00 for the season. This means they had so far scored just as many points as they had given up. Obviously, with a record below .500 we already knew that the early season success was starting to look like a mirage. But a lot of people will tell you that point differential, at least before New Year’s, can be a better barometer of future play than even the W-L record. The rationale is that win/loss can come down to a few anomalous plays (e.g., the Bogut tip, the Dunleavy tip) but point differential is a larger sample size of how the team has performed on every possession of the season.
Anyway, the reason I bring this up is that the Pacers now have a negative point differential (an average of -0.41 points per game) for the first time since early November. So what we have been watching unfold over the past month has become official: the Pacers are not a good team. They are still not a notably bad team — at least not yet, which remains a nice change from last season — but there is no way anyone can look at their record or their point differential any longer and expect them to beat good teams.
Those wins in Miami and Los Angeles sure do feel far away.
Here was the other worthwhile thing to take away from the Celtics game: Paul Pierce diving into the stands and drinking some water. By the time the Playoffs roll around, I’m sure it will be the only thing either he — or I — remembers from this one.