Is there trouble in paradise for the Indiana Pacers?
Indiana entered Saturday night’s face-off with the Houston Rockets having lost back-to-back games, and they were unceremoniously waxed by the Rockets by a score of 112-86. Houston and Indiana played to a virtual standstill in the opening 24 minutes of action, but in the 3rd quarter, the Rockets opened up a sizable lead based on a 38-16 advantage, and from there, it was an exercise in maintenance.
Three straight defeats would bring question marks for any team, but with what the Rockets did to Indiana offensively, there are extra worries. Houston shot 53% from the floor in game, including 13 for 28 from 3-point range, and James Harden was allowed to do as he pleased throughout the night. Harden finished with 28 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals in the game, and he was flanked by a solid night from Dwight Howard, who posted 15 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists.
For the Indy offense, things weren’t much better, as the final score rightly indicated. The Pacers managed just 46% shooting in the game as a team (and that was greatly inflated by garbage time), and only David West (15 points, 10 rebounds) had a night that could be coined as above-average. Rough patches happen in this league, but the way that Indiana has played over the last three contests hasn’t resembled their early-season dominance, and the worries will continue to build until the ship is righted.