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Report: Spatting George Hill and Lance Stephenson separated by teammates during loss to Spurs

Apr 1, 2014, 9:22 AM EST

Indiana Pacers v New York Knicks Getty Images

Think tensions are high in Indiana?

The Pacers have lost five of six and 10 of 16. They’ve even dropped three straight, each by at least 13 points. Suddenly, they trail the Heat in the standings

Every little problem between teammates, the type of issues that usually get swept under the rug when everyone is happy and winning, is being amplified right now.

In their loss to the Spurs, a new problem exposed itself. Brian Windhorst of ESPN:

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.

Who knows what they were arguing about? It might not matter, a trivial dispute that boiled over because tensions are high for other reasons.

If there’s a more serious disconnect between Hill and Stephenson, obviously that must be addressed. But if the bickering lacks basis, the solution is simple.

The Pacers need to stop in-fighting, and they need to win. Either could come first, and the latter will probably follow.

  1. innovativethinking87 - Apr 1, 2014 at 10:23 AM

    What happened to this team?? What an epic collapse

    • money2long - Apr 1, 2014 at 12:09 PM

      epic is taking it too far. have some perspective people

    • pbtunpaidwriter - Apr 1, 2014 at 12:13 PM

      I haven’t seen an offense collectively collapse liek this in my 15+ years watching bball.

      This is getting ugly.

      • casualcommenter - Apr 1, 2014 at 12:32 PM

        Agreed. I figured Paul George’s shooting numbers would regress to the mean after an incredibly hot start, but I also thought that during the season, the Pacers’ spacing and overall off the ball movement would improve. I was right about the first, wrong about the second.

        Even factoring in Paul George’s decline in shooting, the offense has gotten so much worse that other issues simply aren’t being corrected.

      • bkbell3 - Apr 1, 2014 at 3:01 PM

        Casual, their biggest problem on offense is the lack of a true point guard. Hill is a combo guard who should be the first guard off the bench. They’re a mostly half court team that needs a better offensive scheme and a point that can run it. Hibbert at 12pts and 7 rebounds is a 60mil. waste and George has regressed and Stevenson is the only one that can get into the lane and create something but he is very spotty.

    • em11965 - Apr 3, 2014 at 6:06 AM

      They were never as good as their record. This team is flawed. No pure outside shooter, Center has no consistent offensive moves.

  2. motimo10 - Apr 1, 2014 at 10:25 AM

    Pacers put to much pressure on themselves.. And forgot that the heat is not only the team in nba

  3. henryd3rd - Apr 1, 2014 at 10:42 AM

    Pressure is taking it’s toll on the Pacers! Here’s when we’ll see if they are contenders or pretenders! Early on in the NBA season the powers that be had anointed Paul George the 2013-2014 NBA MVP. How does his recent play match up to that of LBJ’s lately?

    Frank Vogel’s future doesn’t look too bright considering how his team has tanked recently. Even though he was given an extension in 2011 there’s no guarantee he’ll be there after this season.

    And let’s not forget Donnie Walsh’s decision to bring in chronically injured Andrew Bynum. That decision doesn’t look too smart lately.

    All will be forgotten if the Pacers make it to the NBA Finals.

    • gostlcards5 - Apr 1, 2014 at 2:31 PM

      First of all, get your facts right:
      – I have heard no one say that PG would be the MVP. The discussion all season has been KD vs. Lebron.
      – Donnie Walsh did not make the decision to bring in Bynum. That was Larry Bird.

      Now, IMO, there is no way they get rid of Vogel, even if this team does completely melt down. His record is way too good for that. And, the problem appears to be with chemistry between a few of the players. Definitely what existed early does not now, and that has to change.

  4. spthegr8 - Apr 1, 2014 at 10:42 AM

    Folding like an Old tent in a Tornado!!!

  5. rodge1 - Apr 1, 2014 at 10:59 AM

    This is when their team veteran Andrew Bynum should step in and teach them about work ethic…

    • money2long - Apr 1, 2014 at 12:11 PM

      or how to win a ring

      • casualcommenter - Apr 1, 2014 at 12:34 PM

        “or how to win a ring”

        “Do your best to play on a team with Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol both in their primes. If your goal is to win a ring, it’s super helpful to be on the same team as those guys when they’re playing at an All-NBA level.” – Bynum’s words of wisdom to the Pacers

      • gostlcards5 - Apr 1, 2014 at 2:34 PM

        Actually, Bynum WAS showing signs of this, immediately after getting on the floor (example – yelling at Lance to pass when he was open, and from the radio people I heard talk about it, it wasn’t in a “get ME the ball” kind of way). He was also playing well in limited minutes. I’m surprised as anyone to see myself typing this, but I’m sorry that the gamble didn’t pay off (so far).

      • money2long - Apr 1, 2014 at 4:04 PM

        lmao yet when ppl want to discredit kobe’s rings, ppl will happily give bynum credit.

    • noochieleon - Apr 1, 2014 at 3:41 PM

      Nothing like a good old fight to get guys back on track. Hell Bynum won’t play.

  6. zickhead - Apr 1, 2014 at 11:03 AM

    Should have never traded Granger. The team has pretty much been downhill after that.

    • au1978 - Apr 1, 2014 at 11:17 AM

      True dat. This team is just self-destructing. I suppose those that are on top always fall the hardest. Sad.

      • money2long - Apr 1, 2014 at 12:12 PM

        you guys need to relax. they have a good record.

      • mannyfresh209 - Apr 1, 2014 at 12:51 PM

        Money 2 long

        The Blazers have a really good record. Except in their last ~50 games they’re only 2-3 games over .500

        Record doesn’t truly indicate how good a team is currently playing.

      • bkbell3 - Apr 1, 2014 at 3:11 PM

        Manny, or it shows that a hot streak was just that, a hot streak and both teams have regressed to their means and were over rated and over hyped by the fans and the media. I think Indy will recover better than Portland because they play much better team defense and that translates better in the playoffs when play slows down and you have 4-7 games to game plan. Every team hits the skids during the year and indy is having theirs. Still don’t think they can beat the heat though but that depends on health and luck and who gets some hot players at the right time etc.

      • money2long - Apr 1, 2014 at 4:00 PM

        exactly currently playing. meaning they had good moments, and bad moments. meaning we can never be sure of how any team will play over the following few weeks. sports is fluid. but one thing is clear, the pacers are a good team. that is struggling. however, people want to focus on the moment instead of the overall picture. sports observers can be very fickle

    • laclove - Apr 1, 2014 at 12:21 PM

      I agree. Pacers talked about the closeness of the team before the trade haven’t heard much lately. There’s no chemistry. I hope they get it together soon they could be eliminated first round of playoffs. Granger knew their system. Turner comes from a team where it was ok for him to think shoot before pass. Things look pretty good for Granger now.

    • bartmuley - Apr 1, 2014 at 7:49 PM

      Dude, the team was doing fine the past season and a half without Granger. His leaving isn’t the problem.

  7. au1978 - Apr 1, 2014 at 11:25 AM

    Rockets fan here. Still trying to keep hopes of a deep playoff-run alive.

    At any rate, one thing that Rockets players said they wanted to learn from Miami after they beat them in their first game this season is the way in which the team stuck together. Turnovers, rushed shots, whatever, the players didn’t talk trash or get down on one another–and Miami trailed by double digits at one point.

    Miami didn’t win that game, but they were just a shot away from taking it. Probably why they are the 2-time champs. Sounds like the Pacers could learn from them, too.

    • money2long - Apr 1, 2014 at 12:14 PM

      why are people acting like they are dead. yes they are losing games. but no need for a seance.

      • ProBasketballPundit - Apr 1, 2014 at 2:48 PM

        Because everybody loves robbing in how Indiana was crowned after their hot first half of the season even though their overreaction to this cold streak is the exact same thing that they’re ragging on others for.

      • money2long - Apr 1, 2014 at 8:05 PM

        Interesting.

    • casualcommenter - Apr 1, 2014 at 12:40 PM

      It’s worth noting that there have been on the bench feuds by the Heat before.

      Remember when Wade was yelling at Eric Spoelstra last year and had to be held back by Haslem?

      However, the Heat generally work that stuff out. IMO, an underrated aspect of the Heat’s success has been the friendship between LeBron, Wade, and Bosh, but especially between LeBron and Wade. The Heat generally don’t let things get too far in part because their biggest stars/egos are also best friends. Likewise, Pat Riley’s unwavering commitment to his protege Eric Spoelstra has helped foster stability and has boosted Spoelstra’s authority. When the power structure is clear and there are open lines of communication, teams tend to stick together.

      • sonnysuave - Apr 1, 2014 at 7:35 PM

        Good point. I agree about the power structure being a foundation for the team, and proven leadership that exhibits mental toughness & stability when things aren’t going well. I’m not a heat fan by any means… but they do have the power structure & leadership that the team respects, and will follow. Indy doesn’t have proven leaders on the team. And the closest they have to this (PG), is not a vocal leader at all. So now, everyone’s bickering, trying to be that vocal leader.. but no one is proven, so no one listens.

  8. turnmymicup - Apr 1, 2014 at 12:03 PM

    Heat fan checking in. Not here to talk crap about IND just keeping it real. Ive said all season I want to see Heat vs Pacers in the Eastern conference finals. Nothing better than a hard road to the NBA Finals. As of lately though Pacers look like they are in serious trouble. Everyone has a handful of games left. This is not the time you want your players fighting. Really doesn’t matter what the dispute is about. If playoffs started today it would be Pacers vs Bobcats round 1. They way Indiana is playing Charlotte would mos def have a shot getting to the next round. IJS.

    • money2long - Apr 1, 2014 at 12:16 PM

      prisoner of moment ^

      • kambujadesa - Apr 1, 2014 at 1:24 PM

        @money2long:

        Yes they have a good record but the way they are playing now compared to how they played the 1st half of the season is not even comparable. If you want to give them a chance based on the 1st half of the season, go ahead!!! Either your analytical skills are of a child or you are a total Pacer D rider which is fine, but I’d be somewhat worried.

        Teams that pick up momentum at the end of the season versus falling apart are teams that usually make it far in the postseason. You can’t drop that many games at the end of the season, give up first place, and expect to NOT WORRY. Why do you think the team are displaying their displeasures in games and with the media. Its not because they feel like they have it in the bag SON.

      • antistratfordian - Apr 1, 2014 at 1:44 PM

        Moment? It’s been one pretty long moment, money2long. I’m not sure you’re appreciating the size of the problem. They’re not simply struggling – as the Indystar said: “Pacers aren’t slumping, they’re collapsing”

      • money2long - Apr 1, 2014 at 3:51 PM

        heat have had moments of struggle too. and everyone always just says it’s the heat.

    • gostlcards5 - Apr 1, 2014 at 2:35 PM

      And I’m a Pacers fan. I totally agree with you. I wasn’t worried a month ago. Now, they’re seeing the kind of epic turnaround they didn’t want.

    • bartmuley - Apr 1, 2014 at 7:53 PM

      Yeah…remember last week when the “fading” Pacers beat the Heat?

      I sure do. It isn’t like the Heat have set the world on fire the past few weeks either. They still trail the Pacers 2-1 in the season series.

  9. rrhoe - Apr 1, 2014 at 1:20 PM

    Two words: Andrew Bynum(lmao)

  10. csbanter - Apr 1, 2014 at 1:35 PM

    You hear that… the sound of so called Pacers fans jumping ship. Can’t wait to hear the excuses when they are upset in the playoffs.

  11. 25yearindyfan - Apr 1, 2014 at 1:43 PM

    csbanter,

    Who is making excuses or jumping ship? We Pacers fans can’t be disgusted with how they are playing? Are you a Heat fan? If so, don’t get condescending towards Indy fans, the Heat have been relevant for less than a decade.

    • fanofthegame79 - Apr 1, 2014 at 2:29 PM

      When has Indy been relevant? You cant give advice to not be condescending to another fan base and then turn around and be condescending. Don’t forget, the Heat won a championship prior to James and Bosh joining the team.

  12. 25yearindyfan - Apr 1, 2014 at 1:47 PM

    Also, the Pacers AND Heat fans should both settle down. Neither team will win more than one game in the finals.

    • fanofthegame79 - Apr 1, 2014 at 2:31 PM

      As a Heat fan, we heard this when we played against the Thunder and the Spurs too…. So keep counting out the Heat – after all, they’re only the back-to-back NBA Champions.

  13. bballhistorian - Apr 1, 2014 at 4:30 PM

    TOO YOUNG TO WIN IT ALL.

  14. opentotruth - Apr 1, 2014 at 7:53 PM

    If Dandy Don was alive he would already be making his classic: “turn out the lights, the party’s over..” cause the Pacers are toast and there is not a thing the Birdman can do about it.

  15. wolfie34 - Apr 2, 2014 at 4:07 AM

    Stephenson is unrestricted at the end of the season. Pacers are gonna lose arguably there 2nd best player. He definitely has the most upside after Paul George.

    Wonder if they acquired Evan Turner as insurance if they lose Lance.

    • gostlcards5 - Apr 24, 2014 at 2:14 PM

      Yes, but keep in mind that after getting rid of Granger’s large salary, they should be able to afford to keep Lance.

  16. doctordunkenstein - Apr 2, 2014 at 1:45 PM

    “SHIP BE SINKING!”

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