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.
Tags: Indiana Pacers