Lance Stephenson & George Hill Have To Be Separated During Spurs Walloping

After Roy Hibbert‘s comments about some selfish dudes, following Indiana’s loss in Washington this past Friday, the roiling animosity in the Pacers’ locker-room was on more visceral display during San Antonio’s 103-77 win in Indiana yesterday. Pacers teammates Lance Stephenson and George Hill had to be physically separated after a verbal altercation during a second half timeout yesterday. Ruh roh.

Team dysfunction, thy name is Indiana Pacers. Via ESPN’s Brian Windhorst:

The Pacers are experiencing a leadership void at the moment and the only thing they’re racking up faster than turnovers and bad shots is finger pointing. During a timeout in the second half, George Hill got into a verbal confrontation with Lance Stephenson on the bench and they had to be separated by teammates.

That was just one negative note from Windhorst. After the game, Hibbert was just as negative as the end of last week.

“We’ve been in a downward spiral,” Hibbert said. “And we’ve been splintering a little bit.”

There’s more:

Paul George has battled some negative attention and has turned away some teammates’ offers for support during it. Hibbert has gone on the record calling his teammates selfish. Team president Larry Bird has gone on the record essentially calling his coach, Frank Vogel, soft and his players not committed enough.

Barely a game goes by when one Pacer or another doesn’t seem to be angry at Stephenson for something. Often he earns it, be it ridiculous technical fouls or bizarre decisions, but Stephenson is rarely guilty of not playing with commitment, as Bird has questioned his teammates on.

The confusion and helplessness is evident when Pacers.com writer Scott Agness tweets post-game quotes from David West and Hibbert, who don’t know what’s fracturing the locker-room, or what’s causing the Pacers mess that’s led to a 13-13 record over their last 26 games, while losing the No. 1 seed in the East to the Heat (by way of BDL):







The confusion is evident in those quotes: the Pacers are not a happy team anymore. Even though the Spurs are riding high right now on an 18-game winning streak (the best in franchise history), the Pacers shouldn’t be losing by 25 at home to anybody — not with the talent they’ve assembled. They were 33-4 at home entering the game, but their inability to bottle up whatever malignancy is robbing them of their ability to play together is affecting them on the court. If things continue along this track, the Pacers might not be such a lock for the Conference Finals after all.


What’s going to happen to the Pacers?

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