Given all the key injuries, it’s not a surprise the Pacers continue to be up and down, going round and round in the fight for their playoff lives.
The latest examples came in the previous two games. The Pacers won the first of those, hammering the Thunder by a 57 points at Oklahoma City. The next came Tuesday, when the Pacers surrendered 154 points in regulation, scoring 141 themselves, in a loss at Washington.
As it stands, they are 30-34 and in ninth place in the Eastern Conference, a half game ahead of the Wizards and a full game behind the Hornets.
But as soon as a key player returns from injury (Domantas Sabonis), another seems to go down (Malcolm Brogdon). It’s been that way the entire season — and the Pacers are already missing Myles Turner, whose return is TBD, and T.J. Warren, who’s out for the season.
Still, coach Nate Bjorkgren isn’t one for excuses.
“I have to do more. We have to play harder. We have to coach better. There’s a number of things,” he said after Monday’s loss. “We’re all in this together. I’ll tell you that.”
Now for some good news. Each of the Pacers’ next three games are at home. It all starts Wednesday against the Kings. After that, Indiana gets the Hawks, and another date with the Wizards. Then the Pacers will visit the reeling Cavaliers, so if there is any time to make up for lost ground, this is it — injuries or no.
Because as we’ve learned about this Pacers season, the injuries and obstacles aren’t likely to go away.