The Pacers win a meaningless game as they fully embrace mediocrity

Buddy Hield, Indiana Pacers (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images)
Buddy Hield, Indiana Pacers (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images) /

The Pacers had a chance to potentially move up in a stacked draft. To improve their odds at getting a franchise changing player. How would they respond?

We learned the answer to that question on Sunday as the Pacers went out and won a completely meaningless game instead of pulling all of their best players and losing a game they needed to lose.

I get it, as a fan I love watching the Pacers win. But sometimes winning isn’t in the best interest of the team, and the game on Sunday was a perfect example of that. Winning the game meant nothing. There was nothing to play for, only something to lose if we won the game. And because of that, the Pacers have significantly decreased their lottery odds based on the final game of the season.

One meaningless win could have cost the Pacers the chance to revolutionize their franchise. But this is what the team has done for years. Today’s win isn’t that big of a deal. The problem is that it’s a symptom of a much deeper issue with the Indiana Pacers franchise: fear of risk.

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We shouldn’t expect anything different, the Pacers are clearly content to be average.

The Pacers have too long been content to just be good, never risking anything that could potentially move them into the top of the league. They never take the big swings in free agency trading away large amounts of draft capital. They seem against the idea of losing to gain draft position. And because of this, they will never have a ceiling higher than a eastern conference finals, and that’s if everything pans out.

And today’s contest shows one thing in particular. There continues to be lack of leadership and direction from the top of the franchise to push the Pacers into competitive standing and the franchise continues to operate out of fear of risk rather than embracing risk for the home run shot.

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