INDIANAPOLIS -- Jermaine O'Neal believes there's a 50-50 chance of Indiana's shots going in. The way the Pacers have shot over the last three playoff games, the odds aren't nearly that good.
The Pacers shot just 27.5 percent in a 72-67 loss to the Detroit Pistons in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals on Monday night.
"Right now, it's not going in for us," O'Neal said.
The series is tied at 1-1 and shifts to Detroit for Game 3 on Wednesday.
It was the third straight game that Indiana shot less than 34
percent from the field. The Pacers won the previous two, but on
Monday, it finally caught up with them.
"Shooting 27 percent is nothing to write home about," Pacers
center Jeff Foster said. "They hit shots down the stretch, we
The Pacers shot 32 percent in Game 6 of their second round
series when they eliminated the Miami Heat, and followed that with
33.7 percent in their Game 1 win over the Pistons on Saturday.
On Monday, however, the Pacers weren't as lucky.
They collapsed in the second half under Detroit's stifling
The Pacers shot just 3-for-22 in the fourth quarter and went the
final 3:31 without a field goal as the Pistons made good on Rasheed
Wallace's guarantee that Detroit would win the game.
"They were much more aggressive defensively than they were in
Game 1," Pacers guard Reggie Miller said.
The Pistons blocked 19 shots and refused to let Jermaine O'Neal
catch the ball in the low post in the second half. Wallace led the
way with five blocks and Tayshaun Prince had four, none bigger than
one on Miller late in the game.
With Detroit leading 69-67, Indiana point guard Jamaal Tinsley
stole the ball and hit Miller down court for what appeared to be a
wide open, game-tying layup.
Prince had other ideas.
He raced down the floor and blocked Miller's layup attempt.
Richard Hamilton corralled the loose ball and hit two free throws,
giving Detroit a four-point lead that was too big for the Pacers to
"I knew it," Hamilton said of the block. "I said, 'Reggie
better dunk it, because if you don't dunk it, Tay is going to get
Miller agreed with Hamilton.
"I saw him in my rearview mirror," Miller said. "In
hindsight, I probably should have dunked it."
Nothing was easy for the Pacers, especially as the Pistons
rallied from a six-point halftime deficit which, in this incredibly
defensive game, seemed almost insurmountable.
But the Pistons put the clamps on O'Neal, holding him scoreless
on 0-for-8 shooting in the second half after he had 16 points in
"I just thought our defense, especially the interior, was
unbelievable," Pistons coach Larry Brown said. "Rasheed, you
can't guard better than he guarded in the second half."
O'Neal disagreed, saying he simply missed a lot of open jump
"I got the shots, but I have to knock them down," said O'Neal,
who finished 6-for-18 after going 7-for-20 in Game 1. "I'm just
So is Ron Artest.
The Pacers other All-Star had another miserable night, shooting
5-for-21 and scoring 13 points. In two games against Detroit,
Artest shot 11-for-44.
Afterward, Artest took the blame for the loss, saying that he
has to do a better job of finishing near the basket.
"We win as a team, we lose as a team," O'Neal said.