The Indiana Pacers currently hold the best record in the league, and they are the favorite to lock up the number one seed in the East. They had an impressive win at home over the Knicks on Thursday night, and they have shown that they are a dangerous team at home.
The Pacers have made it clear that they want home-court advantage throughout the playoffs, and if they have it, they feel they can make it to the Finals. Paul George said as much to Jim Rome (via SI):
“We don’t,” George said, “I mean; we know how well we play at home. We’re one of the best teams in the postseason last year at defending our home court. We just know how big home-court advantage is when it comes down to postseason. That’s one of our main goals this year is to lock up the first seed so we can have The opportunity to play at home throughout the whole playoffs.”
The Heat and Pacers went to seven games in last year’s Eastern Conference Playoffs, and many feel as if the outcome would have been different if the deciding game was in Indianapolis.
These two teams are headed for a collision in this year’s ECF, and we will see if there is a different result. Paul George seems to think there will be.