Since Taylor covered the Eleven and the Indians are snowed out today (that’s right – snow in the mid of April) I figure I should congratulate the Indiana Pacers on clinching the Eastern Conference number one seed for the NBA playoffs. Last night the Miami Heat got manhandled by the Washington Wizards securing the Pacers number one seed bid. This is no small achievement and despite recent frustrations with the team the Pacers and the city should be proud. Home court advantage guarantees nothing but can play a big role in the playoffs. Thanks to the Wizards the Pacers don’t even have to worry about beating the Magic tomorrow night. In fact, they should plan on beating the Magic with their bench since there is nothing at stake.
Coach Frank Vogel made it clear a week back that he was disappointed with his teams play and felt they need to get some rest. His disappointment turned into action as he sat the starting five and played his entire bench – and they won. Similar action should be taken in tomorrow’s match up for a couple of reasons. First, extra rest for the starters will be nothing but helpful as the Pacer embark on what will hopefully in a NBA Finals. Secondly, the Pacers have been struggling the second half of the season. The rest at Milwaukee appears to have given the Pacers some fresh legs and despite losing to Miami in South Beach the Pacers beat the Thunder at home which is no small feat. A little extra rest can go a long way to prepare the team for the first round. Lastly, if by chance the Pacers lose, it would be less destructive if the bench played the entire game and the starters were not involved. Consider this last game a throw away – rest up – and if a victory comes from it then relish in it.
The Pacers have captured the heart of this city once again and the support is here and here to stay – if they continue to be stand up organization. I expect nothing less of the team because history speaks for itself and we aren’t that far removed from that history. With all of that said I have to admit this is a bit of a lackluster way to win the number one seed. A mediocre, at best, second half of the season and winning the number one seed because another team couldn’t win a game. Luckily for the Pacers all of that will be forgotten if they can finish regrouping like they have been doing over the past two weeks and make another deep run into the playoffs. I think I speak for the city of Indianapolis when I say if you are going to make a deep run just beat the heat and make it to the Finals – this is a great opportunity and they don’t come by very often. Live, love and play like there is no tomorrow – thanks for reading.