Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Supersonics 103, Pacers 102: 8 Seconds To Lose

There was a bit of poetic justice to the finish of the Pacers' 103-102 loss to the Supersonics on Wednesday night. Earlier in the day, Jamaal Tinsley helped bring the 8 Seconds Saloon to the nation's sporting conscience with accusations that he pummeled a bar manager. With the Pacers down one late in the fourth quarter, Jamaal Tinsley began his drive for the game winner with 8 seconds left on the clock. He was able to work his way into the lane for an open leaner with 5 seconds to go, but the shot was long. Three put backs couldn't find their way in the hoop and the Pacers were left with a horrible loss to match their equally horrible day. Other thoughts:

  • Jermaine O'Neal did not play when he showed up with swelling in his left knee. His absence can't be discounted with the loss since it required his teammates come up with the 20 points JO usually brings. But, against a Supersonics team that had lost 15 in a row on the road and was missing Rashard Lewis, there is no viable excuse for the loss.
  • Tinsley played pretty well for much of the game, especially in the first quarter. His decision making (insert obvious joke here) continues to confound at times, though. Let's say he has five great possesions leading to good shots for himself or a teammate but then comes down and just throws the ball away or forces a shot in the lane that isn't there. Over the course of a games five or six of those horrible possessions add up and wipe out a lot of the good he does. The fact that JT shot 26 shots tonight is stunning. Way too many for the type of game he plays. On the plus side, I don't see any damage to the knuckles that were alledged to have hit a bar manager.
  • The Pacers played their best ball in the third quarter stretching a lead to eleven points. Troy Murphy came out and hit three 3-balls in a row and ended the night with five from behind the arc. With 22 points, Murph did his part to make up for JO's absence.
  • Danny Granger had another tough night despite finishing with 18 points. His offensive game seems a little disjointed. He's not scoring in the flow of the game like he was a couple of weeks ago.
  • Ray Allen was incredible. He just kept them around the whole second half. I'm still trying to figure out why Dunleavy spent so much time guarding him.
  • Prior to the game Buckner and Denari were discussing Mike D's shooting slump. They gave the normal line about a shooter finding his stroke and having to shoot his way out of it. I'm wondering if it is a slump. I've seen plenty of anecdotal evidence that Dunleavy hasn't shot well for quite some time. With my own eyes I've seen him shoot 3-balls that curve like he has the yips or something. It was interesting that down the stretch tonight, Darrell Armstrong played with Tinsley whle Mike D sat.
  • The Pacers Pregame show stayed away from the 8 Seconds Saloon fracas which I understand since the team came out and said that they couldn't discuss the topic until they knew more about the incident. Fine, no problem. But if that's the case, why does Stacy Paetz begin her pre-game interview with Rick Carlisle by asking about the injury status of Marquis Daniels? You could see RC kind of cringe when she asked about his status and how he was doing. For the record he said they didn't have a time table for his return. Next time I suggest skipping the 'Quis update and mention in passing that he would not play.
  • The Pacers aren't going anywhere for awhile so they'll have to stew in their own mess while waiting to play again. Next up is a visit from the Denver Nuggets on Friday.

(Photo: AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

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