A test of character awaits the Indiana Pacers as a brutal schedule looms

Indiana Pacers, Domantas Sabonis - Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Indiana Pacers, Domantas Sabonis - Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /

The Indiana Pacers, I need not remind you, have been bad this season, standing 13th in the East with a putrid 14-19 win-loss card. They have been in the middle of the pack in various strength of schedule metrics so far, but no one will be pegging them as favorites of the NBA schedule gods, particularly with a brutal stretch coming up.

While the Pacers will end the season with an easier slate than most, as they have a tremendously more forgiving February and March schedule, they will have to trek through a tough end to 2021 and a more strenuous beginning to 2022 first, and that’s where the true character of this team will be tested as they attempt to gain ground in the East.

The Indiana Pacers have a brutal stretch coming up as a test of character awaits them

If you’re on the hopeful side of the fanbase hoping that the Indiana Pacers can turn their season around sooner than later, I have bad news for you. Just look at their next 14 games.

  • at Chicago
  • vs Charlotte
  • vs Chicago
  • at Cleveland
  • at New York
  • vs Brooklyn
  • vs Utah
  • at Boston
  • vs Boston
  • vs Phoenix
  • at LA Clippers
  • at LA Lakers
  • at Golden State
  • at Phoenix

Among those teams, only the Knicks and the Lakers have a losing record, and both teams have already beaten the Pacers once this season. Of the 11 teams on the list, seven are among the ten best squads record wise. Indiana will also face all the five teams in the top five of the league standings between the Suns (twice), Warriors, Jazz, Nets, and the Bulls (twice).

Eight of those 14 matches will also come on the road, where the Pacers have been a putrid 3-12. Alas, the six remaining home games will be far from easy, as four of those teams have a winning record away from their home court. Perhaps the only bright spot here is that TJ Warren could be close to returning at that point.

The Indiana Pacers have a brutal schedule looming over them, but nevertheless, this should be a great measure of what the team is truly made and capable of, giving the front office an ample chance to assess their roster and see what moves should be done with the NBA trade deadline inching closer.

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