It's never a particularly good week when you go 1-2, 0-2 against Eastern playoff teams, and in those two losses choke one away and really take it on the chin against the team you suppose is your main rival in the East in the other. Yikes. Not even a 29-point victory over Orlando sandwiched in between can cleanse that palate.
So of course, it's only natural to expect national rankings to drop the Indiana Pacers a spot or three, but while there are some murmurs of concern, the Pacers are a long way from being a real concern. The loss to Boston shouldn't have happened. That one's obvious. John Schuhmann at NBA.com notes this in his rankings when discussing Indiana's place in the East relative to the New York Knicks, a team they're currently fighting for the second spot with, despite whatever concerns the Knicks have themselves.
The loss to Miami? It's harder to say that shouldn't have happened. Miami has won 18 straight games, and have had a pretty sound revenge tour in doing so. The problem is in how they lost, getting so thoroughly outplayed, especially in their areas of strength. It really is a shame the losses have to overshadow a really great showing against Orlando, and the role the bench played (shout out to D.J. Augustin for his weekend), but it's no surprise the Pacers can beat a struggling team, and we're well past the time when we should look into those as more than the Pacers taking care of business.
This week, the Pacers will have a couple of those games against Minnesota on Wednesday and at Philadelphia on Saturday, their test this week coming against the suddenly coming together Los Angeles Lakers on Friday. While the Lakers have found themselves in the playoff picture, they're still struggling to win against playoff teams on the road, having lost their last four, dating back to the beginning of February.
NBA Basketball Power Rankings - National Basketball Association - ESPN
Indiana drops to 7th, Marc Stein not giving the Pacers too much grief for their loss to Miami, noting the team's winning road record since their 1-6 start.
John Schuhmann isn't short on doom and gloom for the seventh ranked Pacers, painting negative pictures about last second cutters, remaining behind (well, close with) New York despite outplaying them, and what happened on Sunday.
Kurt Helin feels Sunday's game about summed up the East if even he is a believer in No. 8 Indiana being the biggest threat to Miami.
NBA Power Rankings - Top 30 NBA Basketball Teams - FOX Sports on MSN
Danny Granger's knee concerns are concerning for the #7 Pacers, but Sam Amico notes they've forged on well without him to this point.
Top O' The World, Ma! - David Aldridge | NBA.com
David Aldridge wonders about how much of a contributor Granger will be this season, dropping Indiana to 8th.
2012-2013 Hollinger Power Rankings - ESPN
Indiana locks in at No. 6, performing well despite the rough week.
Jeff Sagarin NBA ratings - USA TODAY
The Pacers are 6th Sagrin's rantings, the ever changing landscape delivering a hit to their top ten record.