March Madness for the Pacers

Hard to believe only two months left in the season, so March and April will be huge for the Pacers. What better way to break down the month of March than on this first day of the month? The Pacers won’t play till Saturday against the New Orleans Hornets, so let’s look ahead at what lies in the horizon. Don’t forget to check out the first half recap and see where this team has been.

Right now, the Pacers are sitting in a great spot at third place in the Eastern Conference with a 22-12 record and riding high on a five game winning streak. This month should unfold with the Pacers in the upper half of the Eastern Conference with a chance to take the division if the Bulls should stumble as there’s only five and a half games between the two teams. The Pacers will play the Bulls on Monday night with a chance to go 2-0 in the season series. That would build some momentum for the week.

What else will lie ahead in the next week? They start on Monday night on the road against the Bulls, then come home Wednesday night against the Atlanta Hawks, a team they are one and one against, and who are vying for that third spot in the East as well. Key to get a win at home against the Hawks that evening.

Then comes a tough task that weekend as the Pacers travel to Miami, a team that haven’t been able to play with in two meetings, and a game in Orlando, a team that they’ve handled twice and got routed by at home against. Hard to tell what that game will be like. With the Miami game, the Pacers should at least hope they are competitive as the past two teams were over by halftime. With the Orlando game, I think the Pacers will take care of business, but it should be a tough game.

The following week will see a couple of home games against the Philadelphia 76ers, a team chasing the Pacers for third place, so a win would be key there and a game against Portland at home. We’ll have to see what kind of team Portland will bring that night. But definitely this month won’t be easy for the Pacers. It will be like having tournament games like NCAA tourney time.

The Pacers will try their hand to stop Linsanity if it’s not stopped already by the third week in March as the Knicks do battle in a home and away series with the Pacers. Friday March 16th the Pacers travel to New York to play there, and come back home the next night to play that same Knicks team. The Knicks, themselves, look to have a tough couple of weeks, so this could be a do or die situation for them.

The Pacers will have a couple of games against the Washington Wizards, who they should beat later in the month. They have games against the Suns, Bucks, and Nets, who they should beat. But there’s another game looming with the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs, who have been much better than people expected.

So hard to predict what record the Pacers could have at this rate. To me, if the team is still there fighting for that third and fourth position in the East, we can say this was a successful month, even if the record isn’t that great. This team could have a chance to really show the Eastern Conference that it’s here to battle with a win over Chicago and Miami, but those will be tough to come by. So getting those wins over teams they should beat helps keeps the team afloat. But life won’t get any easier as the month of April comes around, which is the final month of the season. C

Can’t believe after that, it will be playoff time, and I am excited to see where the Pacers will end up playing. Playoff basketball in Indiana is always a great time,and if things go well, this team should have lots of support for a great playoff run.

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