Skip to main content

The Indiana Pacers had.a wild season-opener on Wednesday evening in Charlotte against the Hornets. 

After blowing a 20+ points lead in the third quarter (and losing the third quarter 33-13), the Pacers still had a chance to win the game at the buzzer. 

All-Star Domantas Sabonis missed a shot as time expired (see Tweet below from Rob Perez). 

If the shot had fallen, the Pacers win 124-123 and star their season 1-0. 

However, they lost 123-122, and begin the season 0-1. 

Did they make the right call?

After the game, head coach Rick Carlisle took blame for the play not working out (see tweet below from Tony East of Forbes). 

Sabonis (who had 33 points), got an isolation play called for him and he went head-to-head with Hornets forward P.J. Washington. 

Washington did a good job on his assignment and forced the two-time All-Star into a tough fade-away shot that obviously rimmed out. 

If the shot miraculously falls, there would have been a different discussion post-game. 

It's a make or miss league. 

However, the call may not have made the most sense. 

While Sabonis is clearly the team's best player and shot an incredible 13/19 from the field and 4/6 from the three-point range, there is a case to be made that the ball in that spot should go to a guard or wing player. 

Malcolm Brogdon, who had 28 points and 11 assists, could have broke down the defense, attacked the rim and either got fouled, got a layup or kicked it out to an open Sabonis (or another player). 

There is no true right answer, but in that situation needing just one-point to tie the game, a perimeter player attacking the basket probably would have been a better call.