Pacers Ball Hard, But Live With Regret…Again 

If Miami wins on Saturday at Indiana and closes out this mosh-pit playoff series, the Pacers will reflect on this season with regret. A series thought to be way different than last year’s is morphing into a re-enactment of that State Farm commercial where the girl who doesn’t have a policy with the company is trying to grab a dollar off a fishing pole held by some weird-looking senior citizen.

In this case, LeBron would be State Farm—the insurance Indiana regrettably just doesn’t have. Indiana gave Miami the business last season, too. but Lance Stephenson’s choke sign to Lebron and the Pacers’ failure to respond after Larry Bird called them “soft,” didn’t do a thing to aid Indiana in their upset-quest. If anything it added unnecessary fuel to the fire. No wonder Stephenson fits on this team. They are some hard-headed muthas.

It comes from their coach.

In the offseason, when one of the living legends—probably either Tim Duncan or LBJ—has hoisted another glory ball, Frank Vogel will regret calling Miami “just another team” at his press conference following the Pacers Game 6-series clincher against the Knicks.

King James wasn’t feeling the comment and he let it be known. It was surely stashed in his memory bank for times like Thursday night. The Pacers player’s public expressions of confidence—almost being dismissive of the Heat—haven’t helped either.

With the chance to put machine gun pressure on the defending champs and go up 3-2, the Pacers regrettably fell flat on their mugs in the second half, forgetting how to shoot and forgetting that Miami may be just another team, but LBJ is “the” player.

I t was another blunder in a series of bad moves. They’ll regret going out like suckers in the same fashion two years in a row. They had the chance to be Icon-Crushers. Instead it’s looking like they’ll be one of those respected, ringless warrior teams like the Knicks, Utah Jazz and Phoenix Suns of the 90s.

There will be enough blame to share. Back court bullies George Hill and Lance Stephenson were more like Laurel and Hardy—straight laughs. The tandem and D.J. Augustin were 2-for-13 from the field for just five points.

Vogel had all the confidence and answers before Thursday night’s debacle . "I don't really know," he said following the 90-79 loss. "(LeBron) was pretty special tonight, no questions about it. This is one of the best team's this league has ever seen.

It’s almost a little too late to start admitting the obvious, but maybe Indiana can learn to live with regrets and extend this series a few more games.

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