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http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/dailydime?page=dailydime-060328&lpos=spotlight&lid=tab3pos1

Here's the gist:

Because of his importance to the hopes of Indiana, every move by O'Neal here was magnified, too, whether an airball or dunk. He fouled out in the game's final minutes after scoring 17 points and grabbing seven rebounds. The game finished with Miami making its usual second half rally, dominating the boards and posting a 96-91 win.

It looks like O'Neal's feeling his way around the court. Coming off a groin tear that caused him to miss 24 games, he doesn't yet have the conditioning and strength to go out at his All-Star level. How the Pacers perform in the playoffs ultimately depends on how their best player's conditioning comes back, and how effective a low-post presence he can become.

But right now, I don't see this team having the weapons to make a deep playoff run.

There are other factors that have lifted Pacers' hopes in recent days. Jamaal Tinsley and Peja Stojakovic are playing healthy, and they now send out roughly the same team -- with one important change -- that coming into the season was touted as a title contender.
 
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