The Indiana Pacers clinched the Central Division of the NBA while losing two games in a row. That’s not an easy feat. It’s also nothing to brag about. The Indiana Pacers lost to the Oklahoma City Thunder and then turned around and lost again to the Washington Wizards by almost 20 points. They couldn’t really afford to lose either of those games. The first was against a good playoff team. A win against them would’ve helped solidify the Indiana Pacers claim that they are a real contender for this years playoff run. The second game should have been a 20 point blowout, but it should have been the other way.
Tonight’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers wasn’t important in many ways. It wasn’t against a real playoff contender. It wasn’t to clinch the division. If they lost it would’ve been the third loss in a row. At the end of the season you have to play your best. It can dictate the type of playoff run that you could have. Just ask the 2007 Colorado Rockies or the 2003 Pittsburgh Steelers. A loss tonight would’ve have been the end of the season, but it could most definitely be a bad omen.
The Indiana Pacers started the game off strong. They were playing hard and got to a quick and early lead. They played like the team that had just come off of the five game winning streak. The Cleveland Cavaliers let them know that they weren’t going to just lay down. They came back and kept it close. Indiana finished the first quarter still in control. They lost that control in the second quarter missing several key shots. The first half ended with the Cleveland Cavaliers in the lead and playing like they were the team going to the playoffs. In the second half the Cavaliers played tough and wouldn’t let up. Pulling ahead as much as 20 points.
The Pacers couldn’t get any energy in their direction and they couldn’t get any of their pivotal shots to drop. Frank Vogel saw his team losing energy and control. He did what any good coach would’ve done. He got fired up and got himself thrown out of the game. The question would be, was it too late?
The Indiana Pacers then went on a 17-0 run and got back in the game. They played hard for the final five minutes and finally squeaked out the victory 99-94. It’s not the way they planned it and it’s definitely not the way they wanted it, but the Indiana Pacers got a much needed win tonight as the NBA Central Division Champions continuing to fight for the second place in the NBA Eastern Conference.