Although the Indiana Pacers salvaged a win at home in Game 2 of their opening round Eastern Conference playoff series vs. Atlanta, 101-85, controversy continues to swarm around the shaky club.
According to Yahoo! Sports, recently acquired guard EVAN TURNER had to be pulled out of practice by two Pacers teammates after getting into a fistfight with fellow guard LANCE STEPHENSON just prior to the start of the Hawks series:
Turner hadn’t been the first Pacer to lose his temper with Stephenson these tumultuous several weeks, and Stephenson’s relentlessly irritable nature suggests Turner won’t be the last. These scrapes aren’t uncommon in the NBA, but this confrontation had been weeks in the making and that reflected in the ferocity of the encounter, sources told Yahoo Sports. —Adrian Wojnarowski, Yahoo! Sports
Team chemistry in Indy evidently remains wobbly at best since Turner came over in a February trade with Philly for Danny Granger, who was the Pacers team captain and a stabilizing presence in the club’s locker room.
Another Pacers concern is the play (or lack thereof) of center Roy Hibbert. Hibbert is an anemic 7-of-37 (18.9%) in his last five games since his April 6 benching vs. Atlanta. Memes and jokes followed, like this fake Amazon sale sheet posted by Page Q Sports:
Not the Kwame Brown customer reference! Str8 Brutal!
With reports that head coach Frank Vogel is coaching for his job in these playoffs and Hibbert’s game still missing in action, the Pacers head into Game 3 Thursday at Philips Arena in Atlanta knowing that any further slip ups against the Hawks will result in more pressure…and likely more drama.
SOURCE: YAHOO! SPORTS