The Pacers really showed what they got. Even though they are still in the playoff hunt, according to the standings, it will be hard to make the playoffs, even if they tried. With the Pistons on a two-game win streak, and having a 38-40 record with the Bulls, they both or one of them have to lose every game.
It will be so hard, though.
If the Bulls or Pistons win one more game, the Pacers are out. The Pacers best record they can get this year is a 38-44 record.
Is it possbile that they can make it?
Even if they don't, the playoff chances for them next year won't be hard. Most NBA fans I ask say they have a great chance of making it next year but not this year. One more year, Indy fans! One more year.
Even though the Pacers have a 70 percent chance of making the playoffs next year, let's start a recap for this year. On April 8, 2009, when the Pacers destroyed the Raptors, by 29 points:
You know when some team is winning by 20 or 30 points and you know they are going to win so you leave early in the last quarter? Well, that is what Pacers fans did yesterday, but not in a bad way. Pacers were blown out a couple of times this year, but this time it was their turn, as they beat the Raptors, 130-101.
Danny Granger, looking to be the Most Improved Player, had 29 points as he is becoming a star for not just the Pacers, but now the NBA. The Pacers finally needed an easy win and they got it.
Pacers, who are number one in wins decided by three points or less, reached up to more than 41 points in their lead against the Raptors. Have they shown they are capable of winning? Fans think so. So leading by 41 points made it official: a win.
"It was great, honestly,'' Granger said. "You never want to see the fans leave, but it's great to blow a team out. I think a bunch of us didn't even play in the fourth quarter.''
Besides Granger's 29 points, other Pacers performed well also. Jarrett Jack came along with 23 points, followed by Roy Hibbert's 17. Troy Murphy also helped out with 14 points and 14 rebounds.
Then came Josh McRoberts, who had his first career double-double. He had a career-high game with 12 points and 11 rebounds, all that happened in 21 minutes. McRoberts, Sir, you could be a great Pacer for next year.
"It's good to get the opportunity to get out there and play and be involved in a win,'' McRoberts said. "Obviously, you can't do that from where I sit at the end of the bench. And when the opportunity presents itself, I want to get out there and do the best I can and help out.'' And he did.
The Pacers playoff hopes are very slim, but they have shown they can play. They have been doing well. They have shot 50 percent or better in their last five games played. They are also have won six of their last eight games, a 6-2 record.
"I think we have a proud bunch of guys,'' Jack said. "Regardless of what the situation is, whether we're in contention or not in contention, we've got guys who each time they step on the floor, they want to represent the organization really well.''
The Pacers have played hard that day and they look to show more in the next game. Let's see how they do.
You never know, they could make it, but let's just stick with them for next year.
Passion. Pride. Pacers.