Playoff mode has started early for the Indiana Pacers

The Pacers come off statement wins against the Miami Heat and the Toronto Raptors, which now has them somewhat comfortable in the sixth spot but also this is the start of a playoff run to come.
Miami Heat v Indiana Pacers
Miami Heat v Indiana Pacers / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

When bringing up the importance of a game like the one against the Heat and one against the Raptors, the questions that come to mind are how does this game and the remaining ones affect the placement in the playoffs? It is simple, the Pacers must win out to at least keep the sixth spot but there are ways they can finish at best third. That has to do with how the Bucks, Knicks, and Magic do in their last few games too.

Currently 7-3 in their last 10, the Pacers still have contests vs the Cavaliers and Hawks, which are all games they can win. The intensity that the team showed against the Heat and the Raptors is playoff intensity that they need to keep from now on.

With consistent offense throughout this stretch, except for a bad loss versus the Bulls, and much improvement in defense as the season progresses, the Pacers look to potentially get home court in the playoffs. This means beating the star-studded Cavaliers and the sub .500 Hawks, which Pacers are a combined 5-1 versus both teams.

As deep as the rotations is, the Pacers must be able to rely on the starting five a lot more in the early minutes. Tyrese Haliburton, Andrew Nembhard, Aaron Nesmith, Pascal Siakam, and Myles Turner have been the constant starting lineup outside of a few minor injuries for the past month, and while some games there is a hot start, others do not get good until the bench unit comes in and takes over.

In the two recent wins, they have either started red-hot and slowed down or vice versa but ended up coming out on top each time. Big games off the bench from T.J. McConnell and Obi Toppin have helped the Pacers stay in a very good spot.

Consistency is the key as the team needs to use this current momentum to carry them into the playoffs, and hopefully with some losses from other teams and winning out, this means the Pacers could end up as good as third or fourth in the East and get home-court advantage.

Next. Next story. Three things to root for, two to root against for the Pacers. dark

The number one offense in the NBA must keep this efficiency and start the playoffs which are just around the corner in a way that can find them going deep and bringing the city of Indianapolis a title in the NBA.