Pacers clinch playoff berth in typical Pacers fashion
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Pacers earned a special treat from the coaching staff in their playoff-clinching win, 113-107 over the Heat in overtime Sunday night.
“They get to wear sweats on the plane tomorrow,” smiled head coach Nate McMillan. “But no, I mean, just congratulations to this group. Proud of what they’ve done.”
“Very happy,” added guard Lance Stephenson. “We did some amazing things this whole year. Just happy that we clinched today.”
Even while the Blue and Gold have achieved better-than-expected success (the VegasInsider.com over/under for wins was 30 1/2), All-Star Victor Oladipo has maintained throughout the season the team hadn’t accomplished anything yet. Asked point blank if they had after clinching?
“No,” said Oladipo. Then after a second of pause, added “Naw, I’m just playing. It’s a great accomplishment to do that, but there’s another goal at hand.”
“At the end of the day, our work is still not done,” continued forward Thaddeus Young. “We’re in the playoffs, but now we want seeding. We want as high a seed as possible.”
Sunday’s playoff-clinching win over the Heat improved the Pacers record in overtime to 3-0 on the season. In close games, the Blue and Gold have proven strong all year long, winning 10 of 11 games decided by three points or less.
“Moments like that, 5, 4, 3, 2, that’s what you live for,” explained Oladipo.