Yeah, things got ugly pretty quickly on Wednesday night. Following their first loss to the season, a close 105-112 affair against the Chicago Bulls, the Indiana Pacers looked to recover with a potential shock win against the Eastern Conference-leading Boston Celtics.
Hopes were relatively high going into the game, as the Pacers have been known to play the Celtics closer than usual in their last few matchups ever since the Tyrese Haliburton trade, with four out of the last five Pacers/Celtics matchups either ending in a Pacers win or close loss.
Tonight did not result in either.
Things were pointed in a bad direction before the game even started. For starters, this was the first game of the season Indiana entered without a clean injury sheet. Tyrese Haliburton and Jalen Smith were both out due to injury, Tyrese’s injury being a right ankle sprain and Smith’s being a left knee sprain.
Nevertheless, the Pacers moved on, with fans expecting Andrew Nembhard to fill in Haliburton’s shoes as best he could, hoping for the Pacers not to get embarrassed out there at the least.
Whatever happened out there in those 48 minutes sure wasn’t good, as the night ended with the Celtics beating the Pacers by a whopping 51 points, the second-worst loss in franchise history and the worst loss since 1977 (46 years)
While the Pacers weren’t expected to beat the Celtics without their point guard and clear-cut best player, a 51-point clobbering was not expected and was met with relative shock from around the league.
Not exactly because of how poorly the Pacers were playing, but because of how well the Celtics were playing. As Brian Scalabrine even put it during the Celtics broadcast, the Pacers were fighting; they were just getting thoroughly outplayed by Boston.
Looking at the game tonight, there were quite a few things that need to be talked about, as is the case when a team loses by over 50 points. So, without further ado, let’s talk about them.
There is a positive in all this, and we’ll start with that.