This is why I was asking about their draft pick protection. Seriously.
Wade might be their only salvation.
I'll guess 5-12 to be optimistic. That would put them at 34-38.
Now the Knicks are 7 under, but they also have a definitely easier schedule coming up. Not cake, but enough nice games mixed in to go .500 or better. So they could be pushing Indy down the stretch.
The Nets are only 3 under and about to pass the Pacers through this stretch.
Miami is tough to know. They lose Wade but then beat CLE without him. They have an interesting homestand of 6 games against a bunch of strong teams, that could play big on where the Pacers stand in 3 weeks.
ORL is in free fall and just as bad off as Indy. They look like benficiaries of an easier front-end schedule to me, the opposite of TOR. They have the Spurs win at home, but they just have so many more tough games and a lot of those on the road. I have to count them out right now.
So the 8th seed looks to be a race between NY and IND at this point. Both of which will be ushered out in a hurry by DET.
The real bad news is that it's very possible that the Knicks could beat out Indy for the 8th seed (ugh) and that the Pacers could fall behind GS, Minny, LAC, etc and yet miss a top 10 pick when ORL loses their way into the 10th spot vacated by those other teams.
I don't see any of the other 9 worst teams catching the Pacers at all.