The woes continue for the Indiana Pacers, who lost their fourth game in a row on Monday night (fifth if you include their In-Season Tournament finals loss). They fell to the LA Clippers by a score of 151-127.
Indiana is now 13-12 on the season, which places them in eighth place in the Eastern Conference standings, and the ninth-placed Brooklyn Nets are just half a game behind them.
Defensively, the Pacers simply cannot stay in front of teams. Over the course of their last four regular-season games, the Pacers have failed to hold a team to under 120 points.
Things need to change significantly soon if the Pacers want to stay in the playoff hunt. Let’s take a look at two duds and one stud from the Pacers’ loss to the Clippers.
Dud - Buddy Hield
For the first time in a long time, Buddy Hield shot the ball well. He finished the game with 14 points and four assists while shooting 5-of-9 from the field and 3-of-7 from behind the three-point line.
So, why would he be on the duds list? Well, unfortunately for Hield, while he managed to score a bit better in this game, he got absolutely torched by James Harden.
Hield wasn’t always the one guarding Harden, but when he was, it didn’t go too well. Harden would either get past him with ease or create enough space to nail a three.
For Hield, it’s always been about the three-point shooting, but on a team as weak defensively as this Pacers squad is, his deficiency on that side of the ball has really been highlighted.