The Pacers won their 56th game of the season with a strong effort from several reserve players to beat the Magic on Wednesday night. A strong third quarter put the Pacers in control as the veteran reserves simply stayed in their respective lanes to execute efficiently and avoid complicating the game in any way.
Now the Pacers move into playoff mode -- the time of year they were built for with the same championship aspirations they carried through the summer after coming up one game short in the Easter Conference finals last year. The schedule is set with the Pacers tipping off post-season play on Saturday night in the ESPN game.
Playoffs 1st Round schedule: Gm 1: Sat 4/19 at IND - 7p Gm 2: Tue 4/22 at IND - 7p Gm 3: Thu 4/24 at ATL - 7p Gm 4: Sat 4/26 at ATL - 2p— Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) April 17, 2014
The last day of the season didn't disappoint as the Eastern Conference playoff bracket ended with some significant changes. While it appeared most teams would be trying to angle for a shot at the slumping Pacers, instead the Brooklyn Nets worked their way to the six seed. Toronto also held onto the third seed despite losing to Charlotte after the Bulls also lost to New York.
So in the end, it appears all of those contenders in the East were more willing to take their chances against the Miami Heat in the second round than the Pacers. Of course, the Nets also appeared to like their chances against the Raps, as opposed to the Bulls.
Now that the dust has settled on the East seeds, the Pacers will have the winner of a Washington/Chicago series waiting for them in round two. That is if they can get by the Hawks in round one.
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