It continues to be fuzzy at best what the Pacers are trying to accomplish this season. Are we trying to continue a rebuild? Are we making a playoff push with the players we do have? Are we being extra cautious with injuries? Pacers fans are right to feel a bit confused about the trajectory of the team.
This upcoming week, perhaps we will get more answers as the Pacers will play a handful of games and we will see what the franchise does with the injured players. If the team seems to be in no hurry to bring anybody back from injury, we can likely assume they are packing their bags on the season and looking at the draft. If they bring players back from injury quickly, perhaps we will know the Pacers are trying to push for the playoffs.
So what games do we have coming up this week?
Pacers at Hornets, 3/20 @ 7 PM ET
The Pacers start the week taking on the equally directionless Hornets, who probably need to teardown the team this summer. Additionally, it is yet to be seen if the Pacers will be healthier by the start of this one.
Our prediction: Pacers are the better team, but likely lose due to injury
Pacers at Raptors, 3/22 @ 7:30 PM ET
The Pacers then continue on the road, going north of the border to take on the Raptors. The Raptors are a clear playoff team and a team that is a little healthier at the moment.
Our prediction: Pacers will likely lost this game, especially if they aren’t healthy.
Pacers at Celtics, 3/24 @ 7 PM ET
The Pacers then do the first of a back-to-back against the reigning eastern conference champion Celtics who have again been the best team in the east. Given the Pacers just came off of a win against Milwaukee, this is certainly a winnable game.
Our prediction: Pacers lack the firepower to overcome Boston on the road.
Pacers at Hawks, 3/25 @ 5 PM ET
The Pacers then have the second of a back-to-back against the Hawks. This is likely the game where we see what the Pacers are planning to do. If they are playing their starters, it means they are actively trying to make the play-in.
Our prediction: Pacers rest their injured stars and lose to the Hawks on the road.