Anyway, the Pacers looked good in their comeback against the Knicks,* and they looked even better last night in Washington. Granted, it's not all the hard to look really good against this year's Bullets--err, Wizards. Sorry, but if you're going to go back to the old jerseys, and practically the old logo, you might as well go back to to the old name. We all know what you're trying to invoke.
*We'll ignore how they looked while getting down almost twenty points.
The Pacers got through the toughest part of their schedule* and are now off to a very good start going into the easiest part of their schedule.** With the exception of this Friday's game and maybe when they play the Bulls, the Pacers are going to be the favorites in every game this month. Not to say they're going to win all of them, but I would put down money that they'll win enough of them to keep their three seed in the playoffs. And I haven't looked at the standings, so I'm not totally sure who that means they would be playing, but I can sure hope it'll be Philadelphia. Philly, after getting off to a hot start against a soft schedule, has fallen on pretty hard times as of late. It would be a nice, soft draw that could boost the Pacers confidence going into a tough series. Probably with Miami, if the playoffs started today. And, as much as I despise the Heat and love the Pacers, I don't think the Pacers can win best of seven against them this year. They won't get swept, but they won't win the series.
*Also called "March."
**Also called "April."
Also of some importance, the Pacers sealed at least a .500 season last night, and for all intents and purposes, a winning record. Now, I don't think people who have been paying attention to the Pacers are all the surprised by this. But it is still an awfully good feeling after the last several seasons of losing ball. Not losing so bad they might snag a top five pick, but still sub-.500. At least last year was close enough to even they snuck into the playoffs to give the Bulls a hard time. But, this year, no grousing. They are a legit team who more than deserve to be in the playoffs.
I'll leave you with a bit of recommended reading. Here's Ian Thomsen's take on the Pacers in the March 12 edition of Sports Illustrated.