The Indiana Pacers are in the playoffs.
Such a simple statement sounds so sweet, doesn't it?
So sweet in fact, I've been a little disappointed in the backlash or more accurately the lack of a backlash that I expected from the national media and NBA twitteratti, complaining about the sub-.500 Pacers clinching a playoff spot. I'm sure it will come in the days ahead along with projections of a quick exit or sweep in the first round.
Bring it on. They're still talking about the Pacers being IN the playoffs. They're still talking about a minimum of four nationally televised games, two of which will be at an electric Conseco Fieldhouse. The young players getting a taste is great, yet another chance to evaluate what they can bring to the table long term as the pressure and intensity increases.
What all of the outside voices that think their opinion matters don't realize is that the guys in that Pacers' locker room need this. Most have put in work and had to grind through their share of discouraging stretches of the season. Hard work pays off and making the playoffs is the payoff.
With all of the varying unknown factors facing the NBA this summer, giving up four or five spots in he upcoming draft is well worth this moment. Enjoy.
Oh, and playoff tickets go on sale at noon today!
After the jump, more links from the Pacers Clinchmas party last night.
- Box score
PACERS: Game Rewind: Pacers 136, Wizards 112
All of the notes, quotes, numbers and highlights from the win last night.
- Pacers top Wizards, lock up playoff spot - Mike Wells reports on the Pacers beating the Wiz and making the playoffs...finally.
They’re back | Pacers Insider blog | indystar.com
Mike Wells remembers Jim O'Brien giving him the keys to the Pacers making the playoffs this year and he pretty much nailed it...except for the part about needing a new coach midway through.
- AP: Granger helps Pacers clinch playoff berth
Wizards get reality check in Indianapolis - Wizards Insider - The Washington Post
Michael Lee gets reaction from the Wiz on a game that looke familiar to him.
- Idle Bulls watch Pacers clinch No. 8 spot, Howard get T and Spurs extend lead - Chicago Breaking Sports
Pacers 136, Wizards 112 - Bullets Forever
The game from a Wiz perspective summed up in one picture.
- 2011 NBA Playoff Picture: Pacers Clinch East's Final Spot - SB Nation Indiana
- Indiana Pacers Make the Playoffs | KentSterling.com
Game #79 Recap: Playoff Bound
Alex Yovanovich recaps the win at 8.9.
Indiana Pacers Earn 2011 NBA Playoffs Berth, Will Likely Face Chicago Bulls - SBNation.com
The Indiana Pacers have clinched a spot in the 2011 NBA Playoffs. It's the first postseason bid since 2006.