Tonight's Nets vs. Pacers game is pivotal for Eastern Conference playoff positioning. With a magic number of two, the Nets are looking to lock up the fourth seed while also simultaneously chase down the Pacers in a last grasp chance at the three seed. A heads up win tonight will help both of those causes. Here to help us preview the matchup is Jared Wade of the ESPN Truehoop Network Pacers blog, 8 points, 9 Seconds.
Justin DeFeo: What needs to happen for the Pacers in the post season for this year to be dubbed a success?
Jared Wade: Reaching the Eastern Conference Finals. They played the Heat tough in round two last season and showed something the year before in round one against the Bulls (though they lost in five games). This followed a near-decade of nonsense and mediocrity after the brawl in Detroit.
So as long as they make that one additional step in the 2013 playoffs, it will be an excellent year. Or, as much as Pacers' fans would hate to admit it, even losing a really good series in the second round that goes seven games and stays close would be satisfying. With no Danny Granger, just getting closer towards being relevant in June again is what the franchise needs. Speaking of the playoffs, who would the Nets most like to see in the first round?
DeFeo: Great question, can I choose none of the above? I think of the teams in range for the Nets to play in the first round, the Celtics, Hawks and Bulls all present different problems to the Nets and would all be tough outs. Of those three, the Nets would probably like to see the Bulls and Celtics least, so by process of elimination that leaves the Hawks as the most favorable first round matchup. But I think we can all agree that every team in the East is trying to avoid the Heat in any round like the plague. Early this season the Pacers were being picked as a team that could beat Miami in a series. Do you think thats still possible if they meet?
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