The Indiana Pacers were supposed to be among the top teams in the East thanks to their versatile lineup on paper. However, all that hype remained on paper and never made its way to the hardwood.
Indiana may be at sixth place right now in the conference standings, but only 1.5 games separate them from the ninth spot which is currently occupied by a red-hot Miami Heat team.
The Pacers have been timid and inconsistent, and in their recent loss to the Toronto Raptors, a potential first round opponent, Thaddeus Young chimes in on the team’s biggest struggle this season — winning on the road.
“We just don’t play the same on the road as we play at home,” Young told Nate Taylor of Indystar.com. “I don’t know what it is and we all know what we need to do. That’s why our record is so vice versa. If we can bring the intensity and energy and efficiency that we bring at home, we would be a 45- or 40-win team right now.”
Unfortunately, he couldn’t be more correct. Indiana’s home and road records are complete opposites, 24-10 and 11-24 respectively. They do not look like a team that’s going to be a problem for their playoff opponent, should they make it, and they now face a tall task of keeping a tight grip on their playoff position with other teams beginning to create momentum for the home stretch.
It’s not too late for the Pacers. They could still be that lower seeded crew the top teams would want to avoid if they crash the glass with more ferocity and catch heat from long distance — two areas where they have struggled all season long.