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Pacers Links: Pacers let another win slip away to keep playoff drama going

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Pacers lack of late-game execution continues to keep the Pacers from making playoff plans.

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Welp, it looks like the Pacers playoff drama will playout until the end of the regular season. After losing a game and tie breaker to the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday night, the Pacers dropped to the eighth spot in the East but remain two up on Chicago.

There is good news in that the Bulls and Pistons play on Saturday and each have more difficult games on their remaining schedule. But the Pacers have to actually take advantage of their schedule, something they are struggling to do with only EIGHT games remaining.

The Bulls have beaten the Pacers three times this season and in all three games, Jimmy Butler made critical plays (two on offense, one on defense) to earn the win for Chicago. Man, the Pacers need a Jimmy Butler.

Paul George and Monta Ellis are willing to play that role, but both have been far too easy to defend in game-winning situations and now the Pacers seem to carry the weight of all of their past failures this season at crunch time.

I'm fine handing a share of the blame to coaching and play calling and believe me, if the Pacers fade out of the playoffs it will be hard for Frank Vogel to continue coaching this crew.

But at some point in a players league, someone has to step up and will good things to happen on the court. Kinda like Jimmy Butler does.

Editor's Note: SB Nation's partner FanDuel is running a $200,000 fantasy basketball league tonight. It's $2 to enter and first place wins $15,000. Join now!

Check out the links:

Game Rewind: Pacers 96, Bulls 98 | Indiana Pacers

Pacers Let Another One Slip Away | Indiana Pacers

Insider: Pacers slump in last minute again

Bulls end 4-game skid on Butler's jumper, beat Pacers 98-96 - AP

Jimmy Butler broke the Pacers' hearts for the 3rd time this season | Ball Don't Lie - Yahoo Sports

Tired vibe emanates from winning Chicago Bulls locker room - Chicago Bulls Blog- ESPN

Drained Bulls escape from Indiana after Jimmy Butler's game-winner | CSN Chicago

Pacers fail to hold off Bulls, fall to eighth | Vigilant Sports

TheJayGravesReport.com: How the Pacers just gave the car away in the projects vs Chicago! "Day Dreamin'"

Indiana Pacers Forget How to Score, Lose to Chicago Bulls

Is Ian Mahinmi The NBA's Most Improved Player? | Indiana Pacers