The Indiana Pacers are having some issues, stuck right in the middle of a four-game road trip. They also find themselves stuck right in the middle of a very tight race in the Eastern Conference, where less than eight games separate the top eight teams. Indiana is still nine games over .500, but they have little room for error at this point.
The Pacers took one on the chin on Wednesday night, getting outgunned 100-80 by the Portland Trailblazers. The loss immediately dropped the Pacers from the third spot in the Eastern Conference, to the fifth. At this point right now, less than two games separate the top five teams in the Conference. The Pacers, the Miami Heat, the New York Knicks, The Brooklyn Nets, and the Chicago Bulls are all stuck in a log jam for playoff contention.
If one loss on this long road trip can do so much damage, the Pacers surely cannot afford to lose much more before coming back home next week. The Pacers will also find themselves playing the league’s only back-to-back-to-back stretch of games next month, due in part to a game against the Bulls that had to be rescheduled from December, because of blizzard conditions in Indiana.
The tough Western Conference road trip is obviously difficult enough, and it seems that the remainder of the season won’t get any easier for this young team. Indiana isn’t playing bad, but they are rarely playing great, and offense has been an issue all season. The Pacers don’t have much room to move, so they might have to try and fight to make some room.