Post-Game Grades: The Rock Bottom Beneath the Rock Bottom


Indiana had their worst first half in franchise history, finding themselves down 23-55 to the Hawks at the break. It was the worst moment in what is shaping up to go down as one of the worst collapses in recent sports history. Things were so bad that, six minutes in with his team down 17-3, Frank Vogel pulled all his starters and replaced them with five reserves.

It was an interesting gesture, but it did nothing to wake this team out of the coma it has been in for going on two months. The coach also didn’t bother to send a real message to his whole team, instead inserting the starters back into the game at the start of the second quarter. They played no better and the game became a slow-motion recording of torture porn on display for a sellout crowd who responded with boos.

In all, the Pacers shot just 1-for-20 outside of the restricted area in the first half, and made just 20% of all their field goal attempts.

Here was their blood-riddled shot chart at the break.


Vogel did bench Roy Hibbert for the entire second half, which was intriguing.

Roy was arguably the worst of the bunch in the first half, but by not playing the big man while letting the rest of the starters run around there and continue to pretend this was a competition, he certainly sent a strong message to Hibbert. For his part, Hibber just sat there near motionless for the final 24 minutes (after not coming out of the locker room until nearly 2 minutes had lapsed in the third quarter) without joining his teammates in huddles during timeouts of seemingly showing any interest in being in the building any longer.

In another “Hmmm … you don’t say?” moment, Pacers front-office executive Kevin Pritchard was sitting on the bench prior to the coaches coming out of the locker room for the third quarter. I have no idea what that could possibly mean, but Candace Buckner of the Indianapolis Star noted it occurring and seemed to think it was odd.

Things are bad. Things are as bad as they’ve been.

Here are your grades.

no points billy madison

Tags: Indiana Pacers

  • Special K

    Anyone who thought lack of effort wasn’t a problem can eat their words now. You can be bad while trying hard, but in order to be this bad, you need to be doing everything wrong. There is no excuse for an NBA team to put up 23 points in an entire half. No one has hit that mark in 10 years. Not even the 76ers and the Bucks are this inept right now.

    You can’t blame a lack of talent, so on a team this talented, lack of effort has to be a factor at this point. While we fans may not have, it sure looks like the Pacers have given up on the season – at least the rest of the regular season. They’re playing themselves completely out of games in the first half. Despite two All Stars and one guy that probably go snubbed, it would be hard to argue that the Pacers are not the worst offensive team in the league right now. Forget about the conference semis, at this rate they’ll be lucky to beat Charlotte or Washington in the first round.

    This team is going to need a shake up in the off season. That may not mean a lot of roster changes, but SOmETHING needs to change. I like that Hibbert hit the bench after 9 minutes after going 0-5. It’s starting to seem like he’s the malcontent rather than other guys being the problem.

  • Philip Tarrant

    This team has no desire to play the game of basketball. I have no desire to watch their weak attempt at trying. It’s not as if this is a bad basketball team, and it’s not as if this is just a fluke of shots not falling. I’m not going to follow this team at all until the playoffs. I can only hope that the playoff environment shakes them out of whatever funk they’re in.

  • Donald Ray Andry

    Seems to me its an emotional issue with these big babies. Roy’s emotions have him so discombooberated he can’t dump one in the hoop when he’s standing over the goal itself?!! Goerge Hill looks withdrawen. Turner has definitely been stunned by whatever is going on here. Looks to me like Bird needs to step in and give Vogel a rest from these novices of fortune and success. Stephenson is still a disruption. Paul is a super ego trying to be too cool and fancy with the ball…..just put it in the basket. Immaturity, super-egos, youth, playing on emotion instead of their physical abilities and smarts, no longer have team unity, seem to act like nothing is going on…..seem to be in denial! Lots of personal problems and disregard as grown men to come to work and DO THEIR JOB they are getting paid to do. They need a daddy…..Mr. Bird.

  • Donald Ray Andry

    Pacers are PRETENDERS. The pressure to get down to the wire and realize they are leading the conference and the Heat was too much for them. I say they think the opposition is to role over for them and when they don’t they start whining and acting like a bunch of big babies. Quit acting stupid, grow-up, earn your keep, stop talking and start acting like professionals, no whining to referees or making stupid faces on the court, if you don’t want to play ask to have a seat. The development of the bench was non-existant, the personnel do not match one anothers skill levels and the weakness of the bench don’t fit the starters when sent in to play with them??? It’s like they are afraid of one another or making a mistake and will be jurked. Is there too much control from the coach and not enough trust?? This kind of behavior is contagious. Hope you guys can get it together. Look really disorganized and lost out there.