I'm starting to see some posts claiming we can expect to finish this season with 55-56 wins. As a founding member of the "sunshine brigade" I'm all for that, believe me. With Jax coming back to fill a huge gaping hole at the sf spot, and the emotional lift that could provide us, I do think the team will improve significantly (though perhaps not overnight - there are chemistry issues that will take a few games to work out).
But 55 games? Come on.
Currently at 20-19, the Pacers would have to go 35-8 to finish the season with 55 wins. How many of you honestly feel we're going to lose only 8 more games between now and April? Now, if Ron AND Jax were coming back, you might be able to convince me.
But right now this team is kind of a mess. JO's playing like an MVP but we've gone 4-6 in our last 10. The inconsistency in this team's intensity and quality of play has nothing to do with Jax being gone - it has to do with effort, smarts, coaching and mental toughness. NO team that can beat Miami on the road and Phoenix at home should be losing games to teams like New Orleans in the same week. And having Jax back, while giving us a chance for a strong run run in the playoffs, is not going to magically turn this team into the unstoppable force we all want it to be.
50 games is my goal. That's a 30-13 finish, which would still be one hell of a run and would maybe give us homecourt advantage in the first round. I could live with that.