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Well, at this point, the Pacers would need to go 14-6 just to get to 60 wins, 16-4 to finish with a franchise-best 62-20 record, something that seemed also inevitable earlier in the season.
The remaining schedule (teams currently with winning records in BOLD):
@ New York
vs. San Antonio
vs. Oklahoma City
There are only 10 "gimmie" games left (not saying we will win all of these, mind you, but we should). So if we want to get to 60-62 wins, we need to turn it around, like, right now. Our margin for error has just gotten very thin.
2007 SUPER BOWL CHAMPIONS & 2010 AFC CHAMPIONS
1940, 1953, 1976, 1981, & 1987 NCAA CHAMPIONS & 2002 NCAA FINALISTS 1970, 1972, & 1973 ABA CHAMPIONS & 2000 NBA EASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS
I obviously don't look back on the JO-Artest era with nostalgia, but I have to hand it to that team for winning 61 games. As great as this current team has been this season, it's still going to be very tough for them to hit/pass the 61 win mark. That 2004 team was incredibly dominant and there is no doubt in my mind that we make it to the NBA Finals if Detroit doesn't get Sheed. Sheed was just so damn good, could defend JO well, and gave them a ton of swag. The Pacers dominated the Pistons that year before Sheed arrived.
I know that JO came in third place in MVP voting, but I'll always say that Artest was the true MVP of that team. It's no coincidence that the best year of that era was the one year in which Artest managed to stay relatively sane throughout the year. I've always wondered just how great that team would have been if they kept Brad Miller. JO's shooting percentage in 02-03 with Miller was 48.4%. When Miller left in 03-04, it sunk to 43.4%. I think that the absence of Miller accounted for that 5% drop. When Miller was here, teams had to respect him and couldn't really double JO. But once Miller was gone, teams obviously weren't going to respect Foster and hence JO got a ton of double teams. That is maybe a 66 win team with Miller.
Sorry for bringing up topics that have been beaten to death for 10 years. But seeing how this 2014 team will have a difficult time hitting 61 wins makes me appreciate what the 04 team did for that one season, even though I don't like the teams from that era.
As to the current team, they better get their act together. I think that losing the number 1 seed after controlling it all season would be a crushing mental defeat for them.
@ Dallas Win
vs. Boston Win
@ Philadelphia Win
@ Detroit Loss
vs. Philadelphia Win
@ New York Win
vs. Chicago Win
@ Memphis Loss
@ Chicago Loss
vs. Miami Win
@ Washington Win
@ Cleveland Win
vs. San Antonio Loss
vs. Detroit Win
@ Toronto Loss
vs. Atlanta Win
@ Milwaukee Win
@ Miami Loss
vs. Oklahoma City Win
@ Orlando Win
14-6 Sounds about right. Don't think that'll be good enough to hang onto the 1 seed either.
I stated this in the other thread, but my primary objective would be to get people "right" and well rested. If we gain the #1 seed throughout then great, if not we go into Miami well rested and ready to win a game down there.
The Pistons are a tough match up for us. They beat us at home and gave us a tough game at the Palace early in the year. They're one of the few teams that can match up to our size and strength with Smith, Drummond, and Monroe. That will not be an easy game.