NBA Playoffs 2014: Why Indiana Won’t Win The NBA Finals


This is a team with one of the best players in the NBA, a terrific coach and by far the deepest lineup in basketball — they even have Larry Bird as their sitting team President for God’s sake — yet they aren’t flourishing. Indiana is a team literally one key role-player away from winning a championship, even with LeBron James in his prime. So why can’t they get it done?

Why the Pacers won’t win the 2014 NBA Finals

… To say the least. It was just two weeks ago head coach Frank Vogel benched all five of his starters for the entire game in an attempt to re-inspire, revitalize and essentially light a fire under his player’s a**es. The game was against the Bucks. The Pacers still won. However, the team is still struggling.

You can currently get Pacers playoff tickets — again, this is a professional basketball team who is the No. 1 seed in the NBA playoffs — on Stubhub for $12.95… which is quite a jump considering Game 2 tickets were going for as low as $7.

Minor league hockey playoff tickets with the Bakersfield Condors cost me $21 a pop Tuesday night.

Does anyone in Indianapolis care about this team? Do they think they skipped town when Reggie Miller retired??

Maybe I’m totally out of line here and the cost of living in Indiana has decreased at an exponential rate compared to the rest of the country … ?

… Or at least Evan Turner and Lance Stephenson do. The two got into a fist fight on the eve of the playoffs, leading to their surprising game one loss to the Hawks. The team is trying to downplay it, but the altercation sounded like quite the scuffle. And notice how the team’s chemistry went to poop soon after acquiring Turner and Andrew Bynum. Hard to win when the players can’t play together.

Chemistry is a real thing. It is science.

ESPN Stats:

Roy Hibbert was 1-of-7 shooting in their Game 2 win vs. Atlanta, all shots coming in the paint. In the last seven games, he is combined 8-of-31 (26%) in the paint. He has not hit a shot outside the paint since April 4th.

Going back to No. 3, the Pacers are 27th in the NBA in assists. It’s hard to win a championship when you won’t pass the ball to another single human on your team. Sure, Michael Jordan said, “there is no ‘I’ in team, but there’s an ‘I’ in win,” but he was Michael friggin Jordan. That rule does not apply to the Pacers.

… Who is arguably one of the best coaches in basketball. It’s amazing the things he’s done in his tenure in Indy, literally transforming a laughing stock into a perennial powerhouse, and within a sport that, again, sees nearly zero parity. According to an ESPN source, reports are coming out that — although the Pacers are the No. 1 seed and were the best team in the NBA for much of the season, because of their late season struggles, Vogel is now ‘coaching for his job.’

The Pacers are 11-15 since March 4. If you’re looking to bet on the hot hand, the Pacers aren’t it.

Why we’re wrong

The Pacers have arguably the third-best player in the NBA, only behind Kevin Durant and LeBron James. It’s a star driven league; just one of them can take you to the moon.

And they’ve really been the only one to do so in the Eastern Conference; they literally almost stole King James’ crown last summer, pushing the Heat to a Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Finals. They are the only team who can realistically challenge Miami out of the East yet again in 2014.

Why San Antonio Won’t Win The NBA Finals.

Why Houston Won’t Win The NBA Finals.

Why Oklahoma City Won’t Win The NBA Finals.

Josh Helmuth is the editor of CraveOnline Sports. @JHelmuth – “Like” on Facebook.

Photo Credit: Getty