A gap is forming in front of the Indiana Pacers

The Pacers are trying to keep themselves out of the play-in, but it's getting harder to do now that a gap has opened up in front of them.

Mar 18, 2024; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers guard Caris LeVert (3) dribbles the
Mar 18, 2024; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers guard Caris LeVert (3) dribbles the / Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Indiana Pacers looked like they were a shoo-in for the playoffs back in December. They looked like they were going to stay as a top-four seed and even get home-court advantage. Their offense was a large reason why most Pacer fans didn't think they were going to have to worry about the play-in game game,

Here we are. It's three months later and a lot of things have changed. Tyrese Haliburton has forgotten how to shoot and the Pacers have plummeted down the standings as a result. Right now, they sit in seventh. That could change after their game against Detroit.

The Pacers obviously want to stay away from the play-in games. In order to do that, they need to be sixth or higher in the standings. Right now, three teams sit within one game of sixth. That's not Indiana's biggest problem. The gap in front of them is.

A gap in front of sixth has opened up in front of the Indiana Pacers

The biggest issue facing this team in the standings is what's happening ahead of them. Both Orlando and New York have won four straight games and now sit three and three and a half games in front of the Pacers respectively. There are only 13 games left.

They are clearly running out of time to seal up the sixth seed. That three-game back is too big to overcome when the Pacers are winning every other game. Fewer teams bunched up in that 4th-8th pack is bad when Indiana is one of those teams and still struggling.

At this point, Pacer fans better get ready to accept that this team is likely going to play in a play-in game. They start a five-game road trip on Wednesday and they play three hungry teams in California during that trip. They need to win at least three games on that rip to give themselves a chance to get out of the play-in.

Next. Next story. 5 players who turned their backs on the Pacers. dark

Until Haliburton breaks out of his slump, the Pacers are going to continue to be middling. The hope is for him to break out of the slump on this road trip.