As the Pacers host the Orlando Magic tonight, they stand at 5-5. In just the last couple of days, they’ve gotten some love from John Hollinger and Zach Lowe in early looks at who might make the playoffs in the East.
However, if you look at the first ten games using an adjusted Strength of Schedule analysis (SoSHR) I outlined in a post last February, you’ll find that there’s not a lot of substance there. The Pacers overall SoSHR of .344 is tied with San Antonio for the easiest in the Association thus far. Further, the WinFactor (SoSHR in wins) is only .188, which is dead last.
Which brings me to the title. The second ten, beginning tonight with Orlando, is much tougher. Take a gander:
OK. Maybe it’s not quite “Hell,” but an SoSHR of .576 is pretty daunting. It’s nice that ESPN and SI have optimism about the Pacers – for the first time in a long time. It’s just important to remember that the next ten games will tell us a whole lot more about this Pacer team than the last ten have.