Indiana Pacers playoff roundtable: Who will win the series?

Indiana Pacers versus Boston Celtics
Indiana Pacers versus Boston Celtics /
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Indiana Pacers get ready for the playoffs
Indiana Pacers versus Boston Celtics /

The Playoffs begin today! We got the 8 Points, 9 Seconds crew together to talk about what to expect from the Indiana Pacers in the first round.

The Indiana Pacers begin the playoffs today. Let’s discuss the series.

The Indiana Pacers went 10-14 after the All-Star break to close the season. What do you think of the teams form heading into the playoffs?

Luke Parrish – It’s obviously concerning to see that the Pacers struggled so much at the end of the season. While you can say it was because they had a tough schedule, it’s reflective of the talent they will meet in the playoffs. Indiana played some sloppy basketball and the defense allowed a ton of points in that final stretch. Outside of the blowout win over Denver, the Pacers struggled against playoff-caliber teams after the break. Hopefully, a little rest before Game 1 will help the Pacers recover and get back into form.

Will Furr – The Pacers were definitely struggling to close the year, but all hope is not lost. They played one of the toughest schedules in the NBA post-All-Star break and came up just short in several losses to good teams. They also dealt with several injuries, throwing patchwork units on the court regularly. Heading into the playoffs, the Pacers are healthy and rested. Darren Collison, Wes Matthews, Tyreke Evans, and Domas Sabonis all seem to be back at (or near) 100%. This is good news. The Oladipo-less Pacers win by overwhelming teams with competent throughout the roster. I’m feeling very good about the Pacers form going into the playoffs.

Jonathan Matthes – Not great. I know that the schedule was tough, even some of the losses were encouraging (not many eastern teams find success on west coast swings) but Indiana had a great chance to hold on to home court and blew it. And it wasn’t the losses to the Portlands of the world that were disconcerting, it was losing at home to Orlando, only playing one quarter at home against Boston, and dropping back-to-back games against Detroit and Dallas that were. If they just took care of business (won the game’s they were expected to and/or defended the home court) Indiana would be hosting a game one, and even might have held on to the three-seed (Philly only finished three up on the Pacers). But they squandered the opportunity instead, making these playoffs much, much tougher.

Ben Pfeifer – The Pacers’ difficulty of schedule and lack of their primary initiator made a post-ASB slide more than predictable. That being said, I think the Pacers held up fairly well. It was unlikely that they would finish anywhere other than the four or five seed, so avoiding sliding below that mark was a plus. Without getting technical, their form is, ok, I guess. Having recently lost by 20 to the Celtics is not a good morale booster.

Ryan Eggers – I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little nervous, but the Pacers played a lot better post-All-Star break than their record might indicate. They were dealt an awful hand with their March schedule – not many teams in the NBA are making it out of that stretch above .500. Still, though, flopping into the playoffs after failing to grab homecourt advantage is never the best way to enter the postseason. The Hawks win was fun, but probably won’t provide any tangible momentum going into Game 1.