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Pacers admit to goal of securing No. 1 seed for playoffs

Nov 10, 2013, 2:00 PM EST

David West

The Pacers are off to a perfect 7-0 start after Saturday night’s win over the Nets, and the reason for it may have more than a little to do with how things ended for the team last season.

Indiana pushed the eventual champion Heat to seven games in the astern Conference Finals, before ultimately being eliminated on the road in the final game of the series.

The Pacers don’t want to have home court advantage to blame a season later, so the goal from day one has been to make sure to pile up as many wins as possible in order to secure the top seed in the playoffs. And it’s a goal which the team’s players and coaches had no trouble discussing after their latest victory.

From Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com:

“We believe in this locker room that we can get the No. 1 seed and we started the year with that attitude,” said Pacers forward David West after registering 18 points and eight rebounds. “The fact that Game 7 of the conference finals wasn’t in our home building we felt was the difference in a trip to the Finals, and we’re going to do everything in our power to get a Game 7 in our building. And we have to start from the beginning of the season.” …

Continuity and stability have huge value in this league, especially early in the season. When that is in place, a team can start talking about playoff seeds six months before it will really matter.

“If we’re going to have playoff success, having home-court advantage would give us an edge,” Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. “We were 8-1 at home in the playoffs last year. To lose a Game 7 on the road, that’s a tough environment. We’re trying for that No. 1 seed. We’re going for it.”

It seems silly to be focused on the playoffs when the season is just a couple of weeks old, but it’s clear that Indiana has its eyes on the prize, even at this very early stage — and that may be the reason behind their fast start, while certain other teams in the East haven’t seemed as focused.

  1. allday420ap - Nov 10, 2013 at 2:48 PM

    No sheit, doesn’t every team?

    • mydoghasfleez - Nov 10, 2013 at 8:37 PM

      All they have to do is go 75-0 the rest of the season & they’re #1 seed.

      Let’s see how it goes.

  2. misterdreamer119 - Nov 10, 2013 at 3:12 PM

    the Heats are not going for home court advantage. Theyre playing to stay healthy with reduced minutes for lebron. Heats have played almost a full extra season with all the playoff battles last three seasons. I hate that Mike Miller got cut. Hes clutch.

    • pbtunpaidwriter - Nov 10, 2013 at 7:41 PM

      How many ‘Heat’s’ are there in the NBA? I thought there was only one…

  3. gquesen - Nov 10, 2013 at 3:19 PM

    I give Indiana props Paul George is fun to watch. But I’m sorry, the Heat are winning the East whether the Pacers get the number one seed or not.

  4. kicksave1980 - Nov 10, 2013 at 4:43 PM

    It’s not crazy to think of the playoffs right now. Every game carries the same weight, regardless of how early or late it is in the season. When teams go to training camp, the goal is to win a championship…and if it isn’t, they shouldn’t be in the league. It remains to be seen where the Pacers will end up, but there’s nothing wrong with stating a goal and then working towards making it reality. In sports and in life.

  5. creek0512 - Nov 10, 2013 at 4:44 PM

    The secrets out!

  6. gquesen - Nov 10, 2013 at 5:11 PM

    I agree with Kicksave. I just feel like the Pacer’s ambition and goals matter very little. Whether or not they end up being the number one seed, the Heat simply will not lose come the playoffs. I just don’t see it happening.

  7. captainwisdom8888 - Nov 10, 2013 at 5:20 PM

    “The Pacers don’t want to have home court advantage to blame a season later, so the goal from day one has been to make sure to pile up as many wins as possible in order to secure the top seed in the playoffs.”
    ————–
    I dunnnoooo, that sounds kinda far fetched to me. A team wanting to win as many games as possible…that’s just crazy talk! Pfffffff…

  8. antistratfordian - Nov 10, 2013 at 6:31 PM

    The Pacers are turning into the Chicago Bulls. The seeding wasn’t why they lost in the playoffs the last two years.

    • bougin89 - Nov 11, 2013 at 9:55 AM

      Anti, you’re better than this.

      • antistratfordian - Nov 11, 2013 at 2:54 PM

        Haha. mad?

      • bougin89 - Nov 11, 2013 at 4:25 PM

        No, I’m a Bucks fan. I’m sad on your behalf for you posting that comment in public. Trolling is embarrassing. It should be beneath almost everyone.

      • antistratfordian - Nov 11, 2013 at 4:31 PM

        You’re still mad.

        And I don’t troll.

        Look, the Pacers didn’t completely choke and get annihilated in Game 7 because of seeding (and Game 6 the previous year). They lost because they don’t have the players to compete with LeBron, Wade & Bosh when they’re dialed in. In other words, the Heat’s best day is far superior to the Pacers best day.

        The Pacers are not the Spurs. They don’t have that level of hall of fame talent or experience to think that they only lost to Miami’s group of hall of famers simply because of seeding.

        They need better players, not a higher seed. They’re in the same boat the Bulls have been in since 2010-11.

      • bougin89 - Nov 11, 2013 at 4:33 PM

        Again, you’re trolling. Who are you arguing with that the Pacers weren’t as good as the Heat last year? The Pacers are improving mainly because their best player isn’t in his prime yet. They took the Heat to game 7, only time will tell if they take another step.

      • antistratfordian - Nov 11, 2013 at 4:47 PM

        You’re in denial. And I’m not just talking about last year.

        We’ll see about the Pacers “improving” – you may have a different take if they don’t make it to the ECF again.

      • bougin89 - Nov 11, 2013 at 5:02 PM

        What am I in denial about? You’re getting less coherent in your “unbiased and objective” comments.

        Paul George? The Pacers in general?

        Look back at my comments. Please list one time I’ve said the Pacers were better than the Heat. Or list one time that I’ve trolled Lebron like you troll the Pacers?

        All I’ve been pointing out is how biased and totally unobjective you are because you are a Lebron fan. You can’t see this because you are too far into addiction in your Lebron fandom. This is why it’s funny/sad.

      • antistratfordian - Nov 11, 2013 at 5:29 PM

        “What am I in denial about?”

        I don’t troll and you know I’m not.

      • bougin89 - Nov 12, 2013 at 9:55 AM

        I even tried to give you credit, saying you were better than a comment like this:

        “The Pacers are turning into the Chicago Bulls. The seeding wasn’t why they lost in the playoffs the last two years.”

        That’s a troll comment.

      • antistratfordian - Nov 12, 2013 at 3:35 PM

        How is that a troll comment? What is untrue about that?

        The Pacers are winning games by leading the league in defense – a la Thibs’ Bulls. The Pacers think home court advantage will help them against the Heat, like the Bulls did – except that it won’t because they don’t have good enough players (like the Bulls).

        How is that trolling? It’s not. It’s an honest opinion. You seem to be offended that I don’t think home court advantage is going to help the Pacers. You need to remove your emotions from the discussion.

      • bougin89 - Nov 12, 2013 at 4:58 PM

        “You need to remove your emotions from the discussion.”

        Nah, I’m good. I’ve only been pointing out your complete lack of an unbiased and objective opinion.

      • antistratfordian - Nov 12, 2013 at 5:13 PM

        You’ve been trying, but you’re not really doing a very good job of that.

        I’m being quite objective here – thinking big picture – seeing the forest for the trees. I think I’m the only one unaffected by “hoosier hysteria,” as it were.

        But “Beat the Heat” sentiment is a very strong actuator for the narrow-mindedness of a lot of fans.

      • bougin89 - Nov 13, 2013 at 9:35 AM

        Who said anything about beating the Heat?

        I have no idea if the Pacers will be able to take the next step and win the East. Possible? Yes. Uncertain? Definitely.

      • antistratfordian - Nov 13, 2013 at 3:01 PM

        The Pacers have a lot of new fans because of Miami.

      • bougin89 - Nov 14, 2013 at 9:49 AM

        You have turned to rambling.

      • belleby123 - Nov 11, 2013 at 4:39 PM

        What boat are the Bulls in, buddy? I thought the book on the Bulls was Thibs was playing his players too many minutes and causing them to explode. The Pacers are doing this too?

  9. allday420ap - Nov 10, 2013 at 7:10 PM

    STOP THE PRESSES, THIS IS REMARKABLE STUFF

  10. pbtunpaidwriter - Nov 10, 2013 at 7:38 PM

    I have a few questions about this article:

    1. Why is this news?
    2. Why would you have to “admit” this? After having game 7 of the ECF on the road they obviously would want the #1 seed.
    3. Why is there a picture of David West looking sad after they started off 7-0?

    I’m very confused Brett.

  11. jkirby317 - Nov 10, 2013 at 10:40 PM

    It seems silly to focus on the playoffs this early in the season?? Really?
    Then what should the team focus on at this point in the early season? The Walking Dead?

    The point of playing NBA basketball games is to win as many games as possible in order to gain the best playoff positioning possible. Simply put, win games. True, it may be impossible to win the NBA championship during the regular season–but you can lose it by not taking games seriously and losing to teams like Toronto and Cleveland.
    Seriously, this is not news and you still wrote about it… poorly.
    Tomorrow, maybe try writing about how referees want players to follow the rules.
    C’mon man!

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