Not the way that the Indiana Pacers would have liked to clinch up the division, but none the less, they’ve won their fifth Central Division title. Now the focus can shift on getting back to where they were after a couple of bad games. Who knows if that was some pressure to the Pacers over those two games? Maybe they’ve just been off. Paul George could have lost his game somewhere. George Hill hasn’t looked that good either. Two guys that will have to perform well for the Pacers to go somewhere. But there’s only five games left in the season to get to form for the playoffs. Five games that the Pacers could possibly lose three out of based on the competition. You look at each time left, and wonder if the Pacers will have what it takes to get the win.
If they can get their act together, then sure they could be riding a five game winning streak into the playoffs, and what better way to prime yourself for that. It starts with that first game this week on Tuesday. The Pacers look to continue their winning ways against the Cleveland Cavaliers. They’ been able to take care of business against the Cavs. Winning the three games this season, the Pacers can complete the sweep and finish up in the division with a strong record of 13-3 with two losses to the Milwaukee Bucks. But then comes the Brooklyn Nets, New York Knicks, and Boston Celtics. With the team possibly vying for that two seed, you can’t exactly sit back and rest unless you think there’s no shot at it.
Right now the Pacers are set in the third spot, and even have a four game lead there. With the division win, they won’t fall any further than fourth, but that two seed would ensure home court advantage, and that’s something I think the Pacers would gladly take. They seem to be such a better team at home, and that could go a long way for the playoffs. They’ll look to get one game in the Brooklyn series as the Nets have taken care of business twice already. Then comes the old familiar foe, the New York Knicks. The Pacers have won the past two against the Knicks, and that could be a possible playoff opponent in the second round. Could be a great mental edge if the Pacers win the series, especially winning the last three of the regular season. Next up, the old Boston Celtics. A Celtics team that gave a bad loss to the Pacers that I think they want to put away. The Celtics have got the better of the Pacers in the two meetings this season. That last meeting was a big run at the end of the game to take out the Pacers. The Pacers need to take care of business against them.
But at least, this team can celebrate a division title. One that has shown that this team has come around. It was only three years ago, they were sneaking into the playoffs. And years before that, they weren’t even cracking .500. So Pacers basketball has come full circle, and there’s still work left to do. Getting out of the first AND second round of the playoffs this season would go a long way towards getting the Pacers fully back where they belong. Are you on board with the Blue and Gold?