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Pacers Links: Pacers ready to start home stretch of the season

With 22 games remaining, the Pacers can still go one of two ways.

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Cleveland Cavaliers v Indiana Pacers Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

The Pacers limped into the All-Star break with a 4-16 record in their prior 20 games. But for the glass half full crowd, one of those four wins was their last game against the Bulls.

So, the Pacers start the final quarter of the season on a one-game winning streak, right?

Now what? Depends on who you ask.

After the trade deadline, Kevin Pritchard gave every indication that the team was fine pivoting back to their original developmental season expectations after Tyrese Haliburton was injured leading to a 2-16 stretch that put the Pacers back in lower draft lottery position.

As Dustin Dopirak reported, Haliburton is ready to roll for the final 22 games with a healthy roster that is still within striking distance of a playoff spot.

“A sense of urgency has to be there moving forward,” All-Star point guard Tyrese Haliburton said. “It hasn’t been there the past few games. It has to be there now. Every game has a lot more meaning to it. With 22 games I think we’re 2 1/2 games back of the 10th seed. Every game matters.”

Rick Carlisle, on the other hand, is straddling the fine line between pushing his players to be the best they can be and also doing what may be best for the franchise in the long term.

“The last 22 games, we want to compete at the highest level that we can,” Carlisle said. “We want to win games and we want to continue to develop guys. The hardest thing to do in this league and probably any pro sports league is to develop and win. Early on we were able to do that. Tyrese’s injury (an elbow sprain that cost him 10 games) set us back, but in the last 22 games we have a lot we want to look at.”

The words ‘compete’ and ‘develop’ are key in Carlisle’s statement which sounds much more aligned with KP than Tyrese. However, if Tyrese can lead this crew to play at a winning level again, there is no doubt the team will let it roll. But playing the young players is equally critical and will likely take care of the wins and losses.

The schedule lightens a bit after the Celtics leave town, but there are several road games which have been a problem of late. And by late I mean since the Pacers last road win in Miami on DECEMBER 23rd!

Cheers to Caitlin!

So proud of IC legend, Caitlin Cooper as she launches her own hoops centric venture, Basketball, She Wrote. There will be plenty of her usual Pacers coverage along some popsicle analysis, so PLEASE support the legend that is, CC!

As for IC, we so appreciative of the community here (seriously, overwhelming to hear from so many people) and will continue to be a place for you to share thoughts on games and news of the day through the end of March. I’m very hopeful we can continue is some form past March.

Check out the links:

Game Preview: Pacers vs Celtics |

Pacers: Five storylines for the stretch run - Indy Star

Pacers still holding out postseason hope - Indy Star

Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton absorbed all of All-Star weekend, even bonus time

Indiana Pacers game preview: All-Star break ends as Pacers host Boston Celtics - Sports Illustrated Indiana Pacers news, analysis and more

Rumors: Pacers Rookie Andrew Nembhard on Draft, Jrue Holiday, Canada

This is My Hatbox, Part 1 - Basketball, She Wrote | Caitlin Cooper | Patreon

One-on-one with new Indiana Pacers wing Jordan Nwora - Sports Illustrated Indiana Pacers news, analysis and more

Pacers' George Hill inspires youth at Barbershop Talk session - WISH-TV | Indianapolis News | Indiana Weather | Indiana Traffic

Celtics release encouraging injury report for first game after All-Star break - NBC Sports Boston

Celtics injury report: Boston healthy after All-Star break heading into Pacers game -

Post-All Star break questions for the Boston Celtics - CelticsBlog

Preparing for the NBA’s Victor Wembanyama revolution - ESPN