Trying to Rebound

The Pacers' on-court troubles don't hold a candle to their off-court woes.

Updated: June 18, 2003, 5:09 PM ET
By By Sam Smith, ESPN The Magazine
What happened? After roaring to a 14-2 start, the Pacers were sitting atop the East at the break. Three straight wins coming out of All-Star Weekend ran their record to 37-15.

And then, the tailspin. They lost 12 of 13. They lost to good teams and bad. They lost squeakers and blowouts. They lost ugly and uglier. All of a sudden, they were stumbling toward the playoffs and looking very much like a team primed for another first-round exit (see 2001, 2002).