Probably no team right now is more disappointed in their record than the Indiana Pacers. Danny Granger boasted before the season they were the second best team in the East.
Granger's out, injured until January or February, and they're 10th in the East.
In fact, they're not even the second best team in the Central Division, as they trail both the Milwaukee Bucks and the Chicago Bulls.
The Pacers have the Association's third worst offense, averaging a meager 99.1 points per 100 possessions. Their defense is impressively stingy, yielding just 100.2 points, but when you can't score more than that you've got a serious issue.
What's worse is the answer doesn't appear to be found on their roster. Leading scorer David West is shooting a whopping 46.2 percent from the field.
Breakout candidate Paul George is second on the team in scoring, and is having a career high in points per game at 15.2, but with woeful inefficiency, as he's hitting just 41.1 percent from the field. While his impressive 42.5 percent shooting from deep helps some, he doesn't take enough shots from downtown to even put his effective field-goal percentage above 50, as he's hitting just 49.2 percentage.
Furthermore, his overall game has regressed. His Player Efficiency Rating is down 2.1 points to 14.4, below the league average. George might not be the star the Pacers were hoping he'd be.
Karma might be biting the Pacers. There's no question that they really view the Bulls as their chief rivals. Their best offensive player might have taken a little too much delight in the Bulls' loss, and his team might be paying the Karmic price for it now.
Of all the teams that are troubled, the Pacers are the one that had the highest hopes, are the furthest from realizing them, and are the least able to turn things around.
Panic Level: Beat that thing mercilessly like a monkey on Ritalin.