The next few games for the Indiana Pacers will prove to be a preview of possible opponents for them in this season’s NBA Playoffs. Indiana is holding tight to the second seed in the Eastern Conference and will soon find themselves facing some teams that are both struggling to make the NBA Playoffs, as well as climb the ranks in their conference. Indiana can use these next few games to gauge who they are and where they are as far as playing meaningful games against playoff contenders.
Indiana’s first test came on Friday, where they used a depleted roster to get a dominating 102-78 win against the Milwaukee Bucks. The Bucks are currently holding on to the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference and have been fighting to try and avoid a first round match-up against the streaking Miami Heat. Indiana will have little time to rest, before traveling to play against the Chicago Bulls in a back-to-back series of games on Saturday. If the Pacers can win against their division rivals on Saturday night, it will mark a clean sweep against the Bulls this season. The Pacers will then get one more home game against the playoff-bound Atlanta Hawks, before taking a four-game road trip against Western Conference teams.
For several reasons, this next week might be the most important stretch of games for Indiana this season. Not only will they have the chance to establish themselves against possible postseason opponents, but then they will be challenged by some of the best teams in the opposing conference. If Indiana can come out ahead after this stretch of games, they could possibly be poised for a deep postseason run.