By Bryce Welker on April 7, 2014
The Indiana Pacers are collapsing before our very eyes. It appears that they may have hit rock bottom (hopefully) last night against the Atlanta Hawks in a game which featured yet another abysmal performance from the Indiana offense. If the Indiana Pacers cannot correct these issues soon, there are a multitude of teams chomping at the bit to knock them off their pedestal. Here are the five teams most likely to pull the upset.
The Bobcats are not a very good team, but they do have a very good piece in Al Jefferson. Jefferson has been a monster this season as a dominating double-double machine in the Bobcats' frontcourt. Charlotte is just the kind of team that could bother Indiana, because they can negate the Pacers' advantage in the post.
If the Knicks can sneak into the playoffs (which is a big "if" at this point), they could be quite the nuisance for this Pacers team. Carmelo Anthony is a deadly scorer, and the Pacers may struggle to keep up.
The Nets have been playing at an incredible level since the All-Star Break. They are the kind of team that can give any team some trouble (including the Miami Heat). Credit Jason Kidd and the team's improving health for the incredible turn around.
Masai Ujiri has improved this team greatly. The savvy general manager of the Raptors traded Rudy Gay and Andrea Bargnani, freeing up playing time for young stars like DeMar DeRozan and Tyson Ross which has worked tremendously. This team is the true dark horse in the Eastern Conference.
The Chicago Bulls are the kind of veteran squad that can do damage come playoff time. Even without Derrick Rose, the emergence of Taj Gibson, the continued excellence of young guard Jimmy Butler and the MVP-caliber play of center Joakim Noah have the Bulls rolling. Don't be surprised if the Bulls handle the Pacers (or the Heat for that matter) rather easily in the playoffs.
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