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Indiana Pacers Remain A Projected Playoff Team

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Yay, Eastern Conference! While superstar movement has toughened up the East, the impact of that power shift has yet to take hold. A look at the current playoff race reveals as much.

The Indiana Pacers project to have a 78.5% chance of making the playoffs in the Eastern Conference according to the latest Basketball-Reference.com Playoff Probabilities Report which derives that number from 1000 simulations of the remaining season. That projection seems much higher than it appears after watching the Pacers drop their last three games without resembling a playoff team.

Part of the report that favors the Pacers are the projected wins from the remaining games on the schedule. The Pacers are projected to finish their final 20 games at 10-10 while the Charlotte Bobcats are only expected to go 8-12. About a week ago, I thought the Pacers could win 14 of their final 25 games but now I'm hard-pressed to believe the Pacers will win half of their remaining games.

After the jump, I'll try to pick which 10 games the Pacers might win.

  • Philadelphia - L
  • @ Minnesota - W
  • @ Toronto - W
  • @ New York - L
  • New York - L
  • @ Boston - L
  • Chicago - L
  • @ Memphis - W
  • @ New Jersey - W
  • @ Charlotte - W
  • Sacramento - W
  • @ Detroit - L
  • Boston - L
  • Detroit - W
  • Milwaukee - W
  • @ New Orleans - W
  • Washington - W
  • Atlanta - L
  • New York - L
  • @ Orlando - L

Ten wins certainly seems doable assuming the Pacers can return to a decent level of play. The most risky W's I have listed are at Memphis and at New Orleans, but really several of those road games will require a great effort. I gave the Pacers no love on home games against better opponents. When they beat a better team, we'll talk. I do think there may be an opportunity in their last two games if New York and Orlando are locked into their playoff position and looking to rest players for the post-season run.

Regardless of how you look at it, the Pacers have to improve their play and a win over Philly on Tuesday night will put them ahead of the game.