Pacers’ playoffs come down to three words: “Ball don’t lie”

Pacers Assistant Coach Brian Shaw: "Ball don't lie." (Photo:

Pacers Assistant Coach Brian Shaw: “Ball don’t lie.”

It was game two of the Eastern Conference Finals. Pacers assistant coach Brian Shaw, unhappy with the ruling of the officials, sat on the bench repeating these words…

“Ball don’t lie.”

And loud enough to get a technical for it.

Those words should stay with the Pacers over the summer months and ring in their ears as they begin to rebuild for next year.

Because as much as they overachieved this year, especially after losing star forward Danny Granger for virtually the entire season, it was ball security that did them in against the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Ball don’t lie.

And the truth is, it was controlled by the Heat too much. Put in their hands by the Pacers way too many times. Careless passes, poor rebounding, and missed free throws landed the ball back in the hands of the Heat all too often. And all too often…they scored.

Ball don’t lie.

Sure, there were controversial calls. The NBA officiating leaves a lot to be desired. There were also judgement calls. Could Roy Hibbert have changed the outcome of game one, had he been on the floor instead of on the bench for that last play?

But in the end, it was neither of those things. In the end, it was turnovers that cost the Pacers game seven and the series. Can’t blame the officials. Can’t blame the coaches.

The sky is the limit for this young Pacers team. For them to build on this, come back next year, and make it to the NBA finals is a realistic goal. To become NBA champions is within reach.

But to do that, they’re going to have to become champions at taking care of the ball. Because no matter how good you are, how young you are, how talented you are…there’s only one way to win it all in the NBA playoffs.

You have to have the ball in your hands.

And that is the truth.

Ball don’t lie.

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