Indiana Pacers: How the last 8 playoff teams would fare in a tournament bracket

Indiana Pacers, Paul George, Victor Oladipo (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Indiana Pacers, Paul George, Victor Oladipo (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /
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Indiana Pacers, David West
Indiana Pacers, David West (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

The Finals: 2011-12 Indiana Pacers vs. 2018-19 Indiana Pacers (Part 2)

In shocking fashion, the 2019 Pacers optimized their momentum and eked out a decisive 112-89 road win to take control of the series and lead 3-2. After struggling for much of the series, Wesley Matthews bombed six triples and finished with 24 as they were able to weather Granger’s 23-point outing.

Game 6 was a back-and-forth affair between both squad, with the 2019 Pacers leading by three going to the final quarter of the closeout game. David West and bench big Lou Amundson scored six apiece in the fourth as the 2012 Pacers managed to win by three and send the series into a final, decisive game at home. West led the team with 18 while Granger chipped in 15. Meanwhile, Young led the 2019 team with 17.

In the first half of Game 7, the 2019 Pacers mostly led despite Turner’s early foul trouble with their solid D. However, the third quarter instantly tilted towards the 2012 Pacers’ favor, with Granger quickly splashing two three pointers to begin the period. They then led by seven entering into the final frame and had all the momentum to secure the game. Using their splendid defense, they never looked back, leading by as much as 18 before clearing the bench as they proceeded to take the series 4 to 3. Granger led with 17 while Hibbert registered a 14-17 double-double.

Finals MVP: Roy Hibbert

With the 2012 Pacers winning, a lot of Indy fans may be feeling quite sentimental and hashing out hypotheticals and what-ifs if Danny Granger remained healthy as Paul George and Roy Hibbert blossomed and hoisted Indiana as contenders. Maybe that core, including a still-solid David West, Lance Stephenson and George Hill, could’ve gotten the franchise its first title. But in typical Indiana fashion, injuries were too much to overcome, while ego and questionable chemistry-disrupting roster moved eventually got in their way in 2014.

It’s a simulated format alright, but it’s also impressive how the 2019 Pacers nearly won it all, despite missing Oladipo. It leaves you wondering what that special group could’ve been had they not lost their lone All-Star for the entire season.

Into the present, it would be a tall task to be contenders once again, but the reclaiming their spot in the playoffs is the first step. Perhaps the front office can manage to build a stronger team this offseason as the Blue and Gold is ripe for a change.

Next. Must-sign free agent targets from each West playoff team. dark