The Pacers’ season ends Wednesday night in Washington. But for all practical purposes, it’s been over for quite a while. This was again supposed to be the year the Pacers turned things around.
The Blue and Gold were never really a factor his year. A good team, the Orlando Magic, brought Indiana’s recent winning ways back to reality in a blowout on fan appreciation night. That ended a string of 10 wins in 12 games that lifted the Pacers out of the cellar in the central division, but also dropped them in the draft.
“Some people may be upset. They are talking about John Wall, a top four pick. But when does it stop being about winning games and start being about lottery and draft picks?” said Roy Hibbert, Pacers center.
No matter how well the Pacers finish this season, they will miss the playoffs for the fourth straight year. When Jim O’Brien came to Indiana, he had never missed the playoffs. But he has not been able to get Indiana back to the postseason.
“It’s very disappointing, shocking – call it whatever you want – it’s not fun. We would like to continue playing from this point forward. But we don’t have the opportunity for whatever reason. It’s another one of those years,” said Danny Granger, Pacers forward.
The Pacers say goodbye to PA announcer Reb Porter after 34 years and longtime assistant coach Dick Harter, who worked for three Pacers head coaches. Larry Bird must decide if this is goodbye for current coach Jim O’Brien.
“We’re headed in the right direction. We’ve got a good core group of young guys who played big minutes in big programs in college and now are trying to transfer that to the league,” said AJ Price, Pacers guard.
That young group played without rookie Tyler Hansbrough most of the season because of a lingering inner ear problem. Back surgery laid out veteran Jeff Foster. The Pacers delivered postgame thank-you gifts to fans who endured the team’s worst record in more than 20 years.
“I think a lot of fans are still behind us though. Just because it might not be full doesn’t mean that people still aren’t supporting us. I think they are. We obviously want to get it back to the point where it was sold out every night,” said Josh McRoberts, Pacers forward.
But that seems like a long time ago and maybe still a long way off for the once-proud Pacers.
according to wthr.com