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IC Cold Links: Pacers Clinch, Can Now Prepare For Playoffs

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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.