Thanks to the Miami Heat’s recent struggles, the Pacers find themselves with the best record in the Eastern Conference. They have been an average team since early February.
Indiana was the best defensive team in the NBA, but have allowed multiple 100+ point games in the past few weeks. Paul George and Roy Hibbert haven’t played like All-Stars and the addition of Andrew Bynum, Evan Turner and Lavoy Allen haven’t made the team better.
Can the Pacers hold off the Miami Heat and keep the #1 seed in the East?
Do they match up well with the top five teams in the NBA?
I’ve been trying to pinpoint the exact moment when the Pacers season began to plateau. I believe it was when Paul George was implicated in a ‘baby mama’ situation with an Atlanta stripper. His play has suffered and he even had an 0 for 9 game this month. Trading Pacers icon Danny Granger further push the team over the edge.
When the Pacers signed Andrew Bynum, they hopes his knees would hold up enough to play 10 minutes a game. In his Pacers debut, he had a double-double in fifteen minutes. Fans were excited and he looked great. Well, Indiana announced that Bynum is now out indefinitely due to swelling in his surgically-reconstructed right knee. They aren’t paying him much and haven’t him take up a roster spot isn’t a big deal, but they were hoping he could help them in the playoffs. He could still help out, but he’ll need a few weeks off and doubt his knees are able to play in back-to-back games.
I know Miami has slumped recently, but I still feel they are in better shape than the Pacers. When you have Lebron James on your team, you can never be counted out.
The Chicago Bulls are going to be a scary team to face in the playoffs. Joakim Noah has played like an MVP. I can only imagine if Derrick Rose was healthy. They could be the #1 seed in the East.
The Pacers don’t match up well with any of the top teams in the Western Conference. They have struggled against the Spurs, Clippers and even the Suns…especially the Suns. The West will be a tough out for any East team in the NBA Finals, no matter which team makes it.
If the Pacers and Heat face each other in the playoffs, who will win? It’s still 50/50 and would undoubtedly for seven games. The Pacers are a better defensive team and has the size to keep Miami out of the paint. They also have Lance Stephenson, my favorite player to watch. You never know what the hell that guy is going to do. Miami has the big three and Chris Bosh has been the best one in many games this season. I am excited to see if either team gets their shit together in the playoffs.
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.