It's pretty easy to see what happened. It's not that the Pacers played bad defense. They held the Magic to 81 points. That's normally going to win you the game. It's not that the Pacers couldn't get off shots. They were getting to the rim and getting open looks from three. The ball just didn't go into the basket.
I haven't looked at the numbers, but from watching this team, that hasn't really been a problem this year. Sure, individual players have gone through slumps. Danny Granger had a terrible shooting percentage early in the year, and Paul George went through a little stretch where it seemed like he didn't have his legs. Even Roy Hibbert went through a little spurt where he couldn't seem to put the ball in the basket from close. But the whole team has not gone cold like that this year. I think they said the Pacers were shooting something like 30% during the ESPN broadcast. Well, you just aren't going to win many games on any level shooting like that.
The crazy (and heartening) thing is, though, the Pacers damn-near did. Because of their balls-out defense, they had so many chances to really blow the game open or tie it up late when it was looking dire. They just couldn't shoot. I don't think that is going to be a long term problem, though. I think the Pacers will bounce back tonight, and could well win the next four. Really, if they would have shot half as well as they usually do, that wouldn't have even been a contest.
Pacers tip off at 7:30 tonight on NBA TV. For DirecTV subscribers, that would be channel 216.*
*UPDATE: The game is also going to be shown on Fox Sports Indiana, which is the Pacers' usual home and features the always great (and Wabash alumnus) Chris Denari on the call. I would definitely recommend you watch there, which is channel 673 on DirecTV.
In more personal news, this weekend was a bust for my waistline, but great for the soul. I put two pounds back on, which wasn't great. But, I think they'll come off pretty easy. Definitely worth making some new friends. Also watched my older brother's band play twice. If you're in the Lafayette area, you should check them out. Or, you know, checking things out is a lot easier in the age of the internet. They're called The Heavy Company, and you can give their first EP, Please Tune In, a listen over here. That one is a free download. They're about to drop a new album, Midwest Electric, though I'm not sure if there's a release date yet. I do know it will be released both as a digital download and on vinyl. Now, if only I had a record player.