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Feel the Rush!
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Discussion Starter #1
http://www.nba.com/pacers/news/question_050404.html

From Conrad Brunner:
Q. What is with the talk that the goal is just to get to the playoffs? The way I see it, this team still has the potential to win Reggie his ring. If these guys have the heart, I think they could still shake things up a bit. With Jermaine (O'Neal) expecting to return, and the way the team is currently playing, why not continue to keep the same goal as always? (From Eric in Kokomo, IN)


A. Through all of its trials and tribulations, this team has learned the value of a few traits, and focus is foremost among them. Because the Pacers are so severely shorthanded, they must live the cliché "one game at a time," which is something everybody says but only successful teams understand. It would've been easy, coming off a rousing overtime victory over Miami Friday night, to look past Sunday's game in Washington and ahead to Tuesday night's trip to New York, which will be Reggie Miller's final game in Madison Square Garden.

Instead, the Pacers quickly put the Miami victory behind them and overcome additional adversity (Fred Jones missed the game with what is believed to be a minor back injury) to slow down a high-powered Wizards team that has given them fits this season. If they win in New York, the Pacers would be five games over .500, with six of their final nine games at home. Cleveland plays six of its last 10 on the road. So the stage is set for a strong finish, which could build momentum heading into the postseason.

Which is a rather long-winded way of getting to the point: getting to the playoffs isn't the only goal. It is the first and, frankly, quite noble in and of itself. To get there, however, the team must maintain its focus the task at hand. When the suspensions came down in November, a substantial percentage of fans were convinced the season was heading directly into the tank. Had those same fans known O'Neal and Tinsley would both miss the final month of the regular season with injuries, they would've been even more pessimistic.

But the team has persevered and overcome substantial odds to put itself in position to reach the playoffs. To place an expectation beyond that on the team would be unrealistic and unfair to the players and coaches, because it would diminish the significance of the accomplishment. No one's saying they won't be a tough out, particularly if Tinsley and/or O'Neal return. With or without a long playoff run, however, this team already has proven it has a plethora of heart. And with or without a ring, Reggie Miller has proven he is a champion.
 

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Feel the Rush!
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Discussion Starter #2
I never gave up on this team. And I still haven't. People who know me well know that I still believe this team can win a ring for Reggie, and that I never lost sight of that. This team is playing with so much heart right now, and after all that they have overcome this year, I don't think that there is anything that they can't do. Who else in the NBA is 3-0 against the Heat?
 

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From the way this team has been playing of late, I definately think it's possible. They have a good coach, and a bunch of guys who want to win ball games. And that's what it takes.
 

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A championship isn't in the cards, but this team has a good chance at reaching the second round and a small chance at getting even further than that. We are most likely going to play the Celtics in the first round, and as bad as they're playing lately, we might be able to beat them (although, I still would favor the Celtics in that series).
 

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Losing your two best players hurts the chances but like RP said, Boston has been playing bad lately. I would pick the Pacers over Boston unless Walker comes back hot once he gets healthy again.
 

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I doubt we'll get past any of the top five seeds, but it's good to see that others still have confidence in us. Remember when Jermaine was back how poorly we played? Having him back and going back to everyone just standing around waiting for Jermaine to score 57 again would probably make us worse. If Jermaine and Tinsley (assuming we make the 2nd round) come back, I still don't see us having a chance to defeat Detroit.
 

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Feel the Rush!
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Discussion Starter #7
Pacers Fan said:
I doubt we'll get past any of the top five seeds, but it's good to see that others still have confidence in us. Remember when Jermaine was back how poorly we played? Having him back and going back to everyone just standing around waiting for Jermaine to score 57 again would probably make us worse. If Jermaine and Tinsley (assuming we make the 2nd round) come back, I still don't see us having a chance to defeat Detroit.
The team has learned to play w/o JO, they have learned how to score without him in the offense. So if/when he comes back, I don't think they are just goint to sit back idly and watch him play. Especially with the way Reggie has been playing. JO and Reggie could make one helluva one-two punch in the playoffs. We've shown this year we can beat the best teams, and heck, I believe we can beat anybody in a seven game seriesl.
 

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RP McMurphy said:
A championship isn't in the cards, but this team has a good chance at reaching the second round and a small chance at getting even further than that. We are most likely going to play the Celtics in the first round, and as bad as they're playing lately, we might be able to beat them (although, I still would favor the Celtics in that series).
I agree with you on 95$ of your post. If Boston and Indiana meet up in the first round, and it looks like they will, I see Indina beating the Celtics. The Celtics went on a little run earlier and now can't seem to beat anybody. But I don't see the Pacers getting past the second round when they have to face Detroit.
 
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