But they were hoping to do it at home Friday night and score a huge win over NBA West power Oklahoma City Thunder.
But this would be the Thunder’s night in a convincing 97-75 win over the Pacers, who had a five-game winning streak snapped.
The Pacers would have to be able to get past the New York Knicks and Miami Heat in two tough East Conference series and get into the NBA Finals, and then they would have an even tougher task against possibly a team like the Thunder.
This certainly came out with Friday’s results. The Pacers are certainly vulnerable on their home court and that won’t help them in their title hunt.
Players like Paul George, who have had nice seasons for the Pacers, will have to play much better than they did Friday. George saw almost 38 minutes of play and was 3-of-11 from the floor but 0-of-6 in three-point shots, and scored just eight points while grabbing seven boards.
Now’s the time to step their game up several notches and the Pacers know it. George especially needs to do this because he’s had a great season with 17.9 points, 7.7 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game. But he didn’t come close to those figures against the Thunder defense.
He wouldn’t mind another chance and he might get it. But the Pacers will have to play every game for the rest of the season much better than they did Friday night.