The Indiana Pacers are currently the fifth seed in the East. With a playoff spot already locked in, the team could use this regular season to obtain a higher seeding. At the same time, it will be a long and tough road to approach anything higher than the fourth seed in such a competitive conference.
Aug. 1 vs. Philadelphia 76ers: Win
The Pacers will start the season off strong, winning their first game against Philadelphia. The Pacers may not be as talented as the 76ers, but they sure do have better chemistry. This team should be able to out-shoot the 76ers, quickly putting the game out of reach.
Aug. 3 vs. Washington Wizards: Win
The Wizards are dealing with injuries, so this win should be automatic. The Pacers will need an easy win here because the second half of their schedule is much tougher. Without Wall or Davis Bertans in this game, the Pacers will outmatch the Wizards’ starters.
Aug. 4 vs. Orlando Magic: Loss
The Magic will outplay the Pacers in this game, humbling them before they face the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat. This loss will hinder their playoff seeding, but it should be a wake-up call to players who thought the season would go smoothly.
Aug. 6 vs. Phoenix Suns: Win
Like the Wizards, the Phoenix Suns will not have the motivation to win many games. This will allow the Pacers to rest some key players before the start of the postseason. Someone like Victor Oladipo will especially benefit from sitting out this game before facing Lebron James.
Aug. 8 vs. Los Angeles Lakers: Loss
Even without their key bench players, the Los Angeles Lakers should roll over the Pacers. Lebron James and Anthony Davis will dominate Oladipo and Myles Turner, seeing as Indiana has no elite defenders that can handle either of them.
Aug. 10 vs. Miami Heat: Win
The Turner vs. Bam Adebayo matchup will be garner a lot of hype as the two do-it-all centers prepare to do battle. Turner will win this first matchup and the game as the Pacers try to overtake the Heat for a higher seed.
Aug. 12 vs. Houston Rockets: Loss
Oladipo will struggle defending Russell Westbrook and James Harden in this game. Though Turner is not the best rebounder, he should have a great game on the boards with P.J Tucker playing center for the Rockets. In the end, Harden will take over the game and hand the Pacers another loss.
Aug. 14 vs. Miami Heat: Loss
In the second meeting between Adebayo and Turner, the Pacers will be the victim of back-to-back losses. This is where they’ll find out they’re not a title contender, partly due to injuries that slowed them down early in the season. Their initial seeding was too low, and they’ll end up having to face one of the East’s best teams like Boston or Miami.
The Pacers will finish the shortened regular season with a 4-4 record, which might indicate how their playoff run will turn out. This team might be able to keep their fifth seed, but going any higher will be difficult.