If last week was a chance for the Pacers to prove they belonged in the league's elite, then this week is a chance to simply save face. Not that it's a must win situation for the Pacers, but ending the slipping and sliding is crucial, especially as it pertains to the league's true elite. As expected, the Pacers took a hit in this week's national rankings, but curiously enough, it was the computer numbers who seem to favor the Pacers struggles more, seeming to find their body of work better to simply include games against better opponents.
Whatever the reason, the eye test doesn't lie, and more or less getting run out of the building in three of three of the four games isn't going to instill any confidence in national spotlights, even though Indiana's collective winning percentage against the four teams they played in the past four years hovers around 25%. What should be a sigh of relief is how the Pacers remain in good shape standings wise despite the two lengthy losing streaks, and whether or not Larry Bird sees potential for this year's team will hinge on the trade deadline looming this week.
- NBA Power Rankings - Marc Stein - ESPN
The Pacers drop to 11th as Stein notes the Pacers are doing very little to show they're a team worth taking seriously as a playoff dark horse.
- NBA Power Rankings: Has Anyone Seen The Knicks? - SBNation.com
Tom Ziller no doubt sees the troubles Indiana faced last week dropping them to #11, but sees this week against Portland, New York, and Philly as crucial.
- Power Rankings: For movers, shakers, this is the week | NBA.com
John Schuhmann looks on the bright side as he drops Indiana to #10. It's not struggling when you lose, then win, then lose again, it's "versatility." And it's not so bad you can't beat the top teams in the East if you do so against Philadelphia this week.
- Sagarin Ratings - USA Today
Indiana actually moves up to #9 in Sagarin's ratings despite the rough week as their SOS raises as well.
- Top O' The World, Ma | NBA.com - David Aldridge
The Pacers sit on the Edge O' The World as they slide to 15th in Aldridge's top 15 with their 0-5, 6-0, and 0-4 stretch.
- 2011-2012 Hollinger Power Rankings - ESPN
Computer rankings continue to favor the Pacers, who shoot up to #9 as well this week in Hollinger's rankings.
- Chris Sheridan's Weekly NBA Power Rankings
Sheridan finds the hot and cold nature of the Pacers perplexing as they slide to 10th, the same with Indiana's assist to scoring ratio, while also noting the Celtics proposed Tyler Hansbrough and Ray Allen swap.
- NBA Power Rankings: Bulls, Heat own top to spots. Again. | ProBasketballTalk
Even though it's not an easy stretch, Kurt Helin does see this week's games as easier for #12 Indiana.