Minimizing the Damage

A losing streak is never fun. A 5-game losing streak especially isn’t fun. The Pacers recent struggles dropped the team from 4th in the Eastern Conference Standings down to 4th, with Orlando and Atlanta both jumping up a game on the Pacers.

But have no fear, Pacers fans. The Blue & Gold Menace have a perfect opportunity to minimize the damage and regain that coveted 4th place spot. The next 5 games are pivotal in determining if this team will have Home Court Advantage in the 1st round of the playoffs.

Here is a quick run-down of the Pacers, Magic, and Hawks next 5 opponents:

As you can see, we have a real opportunity to gain back a position or two in the coming days. Not only are 3 of our next 5 at home, but the teams we play are simply God-awful. Charlotte may very well be one of the worst teams of all time, and we play them twice! The toughest opponent we play, Golden State, is 3-6 on the road. The Pacers, at the very least, should go 4-1 in the next 5.

Orlando’s next game is at home against a Milwaukee team who is just on the outside looking in for that 8th seed in the east. After that, however, the Magic embark on a 5-game road trip, with two tough matchups against Miami and Atlanta in the first 4 games of the trip. Orlando more than likely will go 3-2 during this stretch, but it would not be a complete shock to see them split with Milwaukee and go 2-3.

Atlanta faces a proverbial juggernaut of a schedule. Not only do they have three games left of a 5-game road trip, but the remaining trip spans three different time zones each against teams destined for the playoffs. They then return home to face Orlando, no easy task by any stretch. Atlanta will be lucky to go 2-3 during this stretch.

4th place is within our grasp, and very well could be ours again by the end of the month. Coach Vogel’s men just have to rest up these next few days, and keep focused on the task at hand. The win against the Nets last night was big, and it’s definitely going to be interesting to see if we’ve truly gotten out of our recent 5-game funk.


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