Entering the week, the Indiana Pacers stumbled to a 2-4 record in the last two weeks, a bad stretch beginning with a tough, but understandable loss to Miami and wrapped up with an inexcusable loss to a struggling Philadelphia team. Perhaps as something of a testament to their consistency over the season, the Pacers didn't take much, if any real hit in the power rankings this week, though at the same can be said about moving them after they have since rebounded against Orlando and Cleveland.
While a couple take note of the offense taking a step back in those losses, Kurt Helin is the one that points out Indiana's lack of defensive intensity in those games. In fact, heading into last night's game against Orlando, the Pacers had allowed opponents to reach the 90-point plateau five consecutive times, a season long stretch. As was the case early in the year, if the Pacers were shutting down teams defensively, they weren't winning games consistently, and they found themselves in the same position this month, despite reaching 90 points in all five of those games.
So in some sense, the 73-points allowed against Orlando was a positive sign, one that can only truly become a positive again with follow-up performances against Milwaukee and Chicago this weekend in hoping Indiana has worked through their March woes as the regular season reaches its final 16 games.
NBA Basketball Power Rankings - National Basketball Association - ESPN
The Pacers slip to #8, Marc Stein noting the relief New York has felt in not losing ground to the Pacers.
John Schuhmann has minor concerns about Paul George and Lance Stephenson's play in the 7th ranked Pacers' four recent losses, which seems to have had an effect on their overall offense as a team.
Despite scoring issues, the real issue according to Kurt Helin is the lack of #8 Indiana's defensive identity aiding their losses.
NBA Power Rankings - Top 30 NBA Basketball Teams - FOX Sports on MSN
Despite their rough week, Sam Amico still feels fairly confident about No. 7 Indiana being the biggest threat to Miami.
2012-2013 Hollinger Power Rankings - ESPN
Indiana drops to 7th, but has the second best point differential in their last ten games at +10 despite their recent struggles.
Jeff Sagarin NBA ratings - USA TODAY
The Pacers are seventh, piecing together the easiest schedule in the league to this point.