Ranking the Pacers possible playoff opponents from most to least intimidating

With the Pacers set to participate in at least the Play-In tournament soon, let's take a look at who they may face in the playoffs.
Indiana Pacers v Milwaukee Bucks
Indiana Pacers v Milwaukee Bucks / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages
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For the first time since 2020, the Indiana Pacers have acquired a winning record and can look forward to playoff basketball. Of course, they have only secured a spot in the Play-In Tournament so far, but with seven games left in their season, and Indiana currently holding a full game lead over Miami and a 2.5-game lead over Philadelphia with Joel Embiid still out, a playoff series seems more and more likely without the need for the Play-In.

With the playoffs rapidly approaching and Indiana's almost inevitable participation at this point, this brings up the multiple possible playoff matchups we will see very soon. For a team like the Pacers, who are relatively new to the NBA's elite and don't have much in terms of playoff experience (only three players on their roster have gotten significant recent playoff minutes outside garbage time), it's pretty tough to see how they stack up against their playoff counterparts.

Of course, the loss of Bennedict Mathurin will certainly be felt come April and May, with his ability to slow the game down and score in isolation, two valuable attributes for playoff basketball, not being there. For a team that plays as fast as the Pacers do, Mathurin helps unlock a new aspect of their game that drastically improves their half-court offense and makes them even more dangerous.

However, despite Mathurin's absence, the Pacers are no slouch in the playoffs. In my opinion, Indiana matches up well with any of the East playoff teams besides one, and we will see just who they should look forward to playing, and who they should be cautious about playing. So without further ado, let's get into the list.

DISCLAIMER: I will not be including Miami or Philadelphia, as outside of one possible Play-In game, Indiana does not have to worry about a playoff series against them.