The Indiana Pacers are facing the possibility of trailing the Washington Wizards 0-2 in their best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal series on Wednesday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Already pushed to the limit by the Atlanta Hawks in the first round, the Pacers could be in a lot of trouble if they absorb another defeat in Game 2, as they head to the nation's capital for the next two games of the series.
After lording on top of the Eastern Conference for the majority of the regular-season, the Pacers are now on a free-fall. Not only did they have to dig deep from their bag of tricks to dispatch a sub 500. playoff team like the Hawks, but the chemistry they have built on and off the court all season long is suddenly gone.
How could this be? Is there's something wrong with the Pacers' system? Did teams already figure it out how to destroy their seemingly impregnable defense? The answer might be deeper than everybody expected.
On Monday, Baller Alert posted on their blog site about a tension on the Pacers locker room, particularly between George and Hibbert. According to the article, a source told the site's editors via mailbox about George's alleged affair with Roy Hibbert's wife or fiancée.
In fact, the source claimed Hibbert caught George sleeping with his lady, which reportedly marred the relationship between the two stars. The issue has apparently deteriorated the Pacers' cohesiveness, leading to scuffles among teammates - one of which is the slugfest between Evan Turner and Lance Stephenson.
Though Baller Alert is not 100 per cent sure about the validity of the report, it's very interesting why the Pacers are suddenly in a limbo. Back in November, the Pacers were tabbed as the team poised to end the Heat's three-peat aspirations. But in a blink of an eye, all of the perceptions surrounding the mighty Pacers squad have become irrelevant at this point.
Whether or not the implosion is associated to a player double-crossing a teammate, the Pacers must man up and distance themselves from these distractions. Yes, George has been blatantly targeted by critics because of several off-the-court issues (Burglary, Catfishing Scandal, Miami Stripper baby mama case). However, the postseason is more than just hoops skills, but also mental toughness.
As for Hibbert, "selfish" people are not only found inside the locker room, they are everywhere. However, he has a choice whether he would let the controversy get the best of him or persevere through this adversity.
Hibbert is no doubt an All-Star center at his best. In 2013, he proved that he can dominate a star-studded team like the Heat, and there's no doubt he can pull off that kind of performance again this postseason.
The Pacers still have a chance to huddle things up and become a title contender as they truly are. The infidelity rumour might be quite shocking, especially for the fans. Then again, at the end of the day, they are all paid to get buckets and win ballgames.