Pacers Have Lost that Loving Feeling

Photo: Indy Star/Joe Vitti

Photo: Indy Star/Joe Vitti

Team chemistry is a lot like chemistry in any other relationship. If you’re thinking about it — it’s already an issue. If you’re talking about it — it’s a problem. And if you keep coming back to it — you’re in trouble.

By that definition, the Indiana Pacers are in T-R-O-U-B-L-E.

They started out the season about as strong as they could have. Then, just before the trade deadline, Pacers President Larry Bird added some new faces: Andrew Bynum, Evan Turner, and Lavoy Allen. And it was goodbye to longtime veteran Danny Granger and locker room favorite Orlando Johnson.

Throw in some (alleged) baby mama drama, a halftime haircut, some questionable online photos, and the team that dominated the first half of the season — is now sliding into the playoffs, or more accurately — free-falling after losing 10 of their last 16 games.

I wasn’t excited about the Pacers roster changes. Not because I was a big Danny Granger fan (truthfully, I am not). But because I wanted to see this team bring home the NBA Championship with their core group. The one from the last few seasons. The one that stood for teamwork, brotherhood, and was built — not bought. And quite frankly, they weren’t broken.

Now, with the frustration, comes the finger-pointing and blame game — something we haven’t seen from this group. It’s not entirely clear who has a problem with who. But one thing is clear: the Pacers have lost that loving feeling.

Yes, it’s gone…gone…gone…

And now, so is their first place seed and home court advantage in the playoffs.

This is the hand the Pacers were dealt. And Larry Bird expects them to play it. Period.

Whether it’s on the court, off the court, or in therapy — the players need to figure it out. They’re the only ones who can do it.

They have everything to gain if they do. And everything to lose if they don’t.

So, bring back that loving feeling…

And fast.

Go Pacers!


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