At the end of play on 11/23/2010, the Pacers are the Fifth seed in the East after 13 games. Even though it is early, if one takes a look at the Eastern standings, the Pacers belong where they are. The Bucks surprised everyone last year mainly with their defense. However, what the Bucks had on defense, they lack in offense. The Pacers can be even better than those Bucks from a year ago because they are balanced on both ends of the floor. This is no longer the team that is still recovering from 'The Brawl'. There is clearly talent in Indiana this year, but it goes beyond talent, for there is also commitment and passion. If the Playoffs were to start today, the Pacers would be in and most Pacer fans would've signed up for it before the season began. But now that the world has witness what the Pacers are capable of, is simply getting in the playoff enough? Never, the ultimate goal is the Larry O'Brien Trophy!! Of course the odds are heavily stacked against the Pacers, but so what!! As crazy as this may sound, the Pacers have a shot to finish as high as the third seed in the East. It will definitely be a struggle uphill, but it can be done!!
During Reggie Miller's tenure with the Pacers, there were never Elite players on those teams, but the all the teams that got to the conference finals, got there with team work and heart. Although Reggie never won a championship, he always embodied the heart of a champion. Year in and year out, Reggie will the Pacers into and beyond the Playoffs no matter who was on the team. The odds were stacked against Reggie from the very beginning, but he never feared any opponent, either in glory or defeat, the Pacers went down swinging. If the Pacers want to return to the glory days of old, they need to adopt this very same demeanor. Winning takes a rare combination of experience, talent, hustle, tenacity and conviction. All of the aforementioned qualities are inhibited or capable of by the current Pacers. And these qualities are the boundary of separation between the contenders and the pretenders. If the Pacers continued their play with passion and conviction, there is no reason why the Pacers should not challenge the household names of the league.