Surprising results of asking Pacers fans if they want the play-in or lottery

Indiana Pacers fans (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Indiana Pacers fans (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

We ran a poll of Pacers fans to see what they would prefer if given the choice to have the Pacers make the play-in or get a lottery pick. The results were surprising.

As a fan it is a hard choice to make with your heart because you always want your favorite team to win. However, it seems that the majority of Pacers fans are currently struggling with trying to decipher how they feel about the team and what they want the future to look like.

Our poll had 538 votes and this is how the results panned out:

  • 21% would be excited to be a part of the playoffs in the play-in tournament.
  • 21% are unsure how to feel or neutral about the whole ordeal.
  • 58% would be disappointed at the loss of a high lottery pick in the 2023 NBA draft.

So needless to say, the results are particularly close. Pacers fans resoundingly would rather had a good (top 10ish) draft pick in this generational draft rather than make the play-in tournament. The motivations for such a majority are hard to determine, however, there is one reason that is likely at play.

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Pacers fans are tired of being right in the middle of the eastern conference and not serious title contenders.

Wrong or right, it appears that many fans believe that a lottery pick is more of a sure thing than a play-in game. However, we know for a fact that the Pacers don’t have the best history of making good use of their lottery picks in the first place. So it’s hard to imagine that a lottery pick would have any certainty behind it.

The counterargument to this is that a play-in game would be good experience for the younger guys on the team such as Tyrese Haliburton. And while there is certainly merit to that, whether that experience would actually be valuable may depend on if the Pacers could actually make it into a playoff series.