brunos_blog_400Fast breaks from the Pacers’ 117-109 loss to the Nets Friday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse:

>> Frank Vogel said after the game he is considering shutting down George Hill in order to allow his injured hip to heal, calling it a “tough decision.” But is it really? Including Deron Williams’ 33 Friday, opposing point guards have averaged 31.0 points in the last four. It doesn’t matter how the Pacers finish the regular season; if their starting point guard is unable to dig in defensively the postseason will be brief.

>> Vogel on the late-season slump: “There’s concern. Obviously you want to be playing better this time of year but losses are motivating … We’re going to work extremely hard the next few days and going into the playoffs to get ready.”

>> The third seed is no longer an assumption. With the win, the Nets (47-32) not only swept the season series, they pulled two games back of the Pacers (49-30). Brooklyn’s final three games are against lottery teams, while the Pacers face the Knicks (Sunday) and Celtics (Tuesday, both on the road, before closing with the 76ers. The Nets are surging with four straight wins and five in six games, while the Pacers have dropped three of four.

>> For the second game in a row, the Pacers wiped out a deficit of at least 20 points in the second half, but unlike the Cleveland game, they could not finish the job. Down 76-52 early in the third quarter, they came all the way back to take a 101-99 lead on Lance Stephenson’s 3-pointer with five minutes left, but came up empty on six of their next seven possessions as the Nets regained control.

>> Williams scored 25 of his points in the first 26 minutes but when Vogel switched defensive assignments to put Paul George on him, Williams did not make another field goal and went more than 21 minutes without scoring before making three free throws in the final minute.

>> Williams also limped out of the game in the final seconds after banging knees with Paul George. He had had a similar collision with Roy Hibbert earlier in the game.

>> David West had 26 points on 11-for-13 shooting, while Hibbert (18 points, 10 rebounds) and Hill (17 points, 10 assists) had double-doubles for the Pacers.

>> Brooklyn’s point total was a season-high against the Pacers, as were the Nets’ 69 points in the first half.

>> In the last six games, opponents have averaged 103.7 points on .486 shooting, with four topping 100 points. The Pacers had allowed 100 points just once in the previous 22 games.

>> The Pacers dropped to 5-4 in front of home sellouts, including losses in four of the last five (Nets, Thunder, Lakers, Clippers).

What do you think is going on with the Pacers? Leave a comment below and let your voice be heard.

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3 Responses to Slumping Pacers may need to shut down Hill

  1. What is wrong with the Pacers is the million dollar question? I’m sure if we had an answer, Frank Vogel would be calling upon my services. The only thing I can think of is that the season is finally wearing down guys. Paul George has been such a beast on the defensive end that has to wear him down somewhat. George Hill is playing with some sort of injury, and looks slower on the defensive end. The team just has lost that confidence that was prevalent early in the season. I am not sure what to make of their chances in the playoffs now.

  2. Good points all, Stephen – as usual.

  3. Pingback: NBA playoff picture: Nets beat Pacers to keep hope alive for No. 3 spot in East – SB Nation | Nation News

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