Indiana Pacers: Was getting swept by the Miami Heat a fluke?

Indiana Pacers, TJ Warren, Jimmy Butler - Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Indiana Pacers, TJ Warren, Jimmy Butler - Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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Despite owning the 4th seed in the East last season, the Indiana Pacers continued their traditional first-round exit in the playoffs after eventual conference champions Miami Heat dismantled them in an outright sweep.

With no true homecourt advantage in the bubble, as well as Victor Oladipo far from his pre-injury self and All-Star Domantas Sabonis absent due to injury, the Blue and Gold simply didn’t have enough to topple the upstart Heat which eventually trumped all odds to reach the NBA Finals before bowing down to the Los Angeles Lakers.

However, despite their cinderella run, few penciled in Miami to recreate their unprecedented postseason success, and their current struggles against powerhouse Milwaukee Bucks, which they beat with relative ease last year, is proving that as the league pivots back to normalcy, the Heat are similarly trending in that direction and are ducking away from the extraordinary.

Don’t get me wrong — what the Miami Heat did last year, even with all the pettifogging “fluke” talks and “bubble fraud” claims — is flat-out inspiring. No, they were not as talented as their other adversaries, but their blue-collared approach helped them eke out an improbable dominant run in the East in the playoffs.

But at the same time, they have simply failed to recapture that same magic this year which made them so intimidating of an opponent last season, making those blistering jabs from fans and trolls worthy of a second look, and giving the nitpicking asterisk talks an ounce of substance — or two. Thus, were the Indiana Pacers getting swept by the Miami Heat also a fluke?