The Pacers Are Back in the Playoffs

by April 07, 2011

For the first time in a long time, NBA Playoff hoops will be played in Indianapolis. The Indy Star reports: “After five years of trades, off-the-court troubles, a midseason coaching change and a long rebuilding process, the Pacers are headed back to the playoffs. The Pacers beat the Washington Wizards 136-112 and clinched a playoff berth about 25 minutes later Wednesday when Orlando defeated Charlotte. The Pacers will be the eighth seed and play Chicago or Boston in the first round. ‘I am just really happy for a lot of people,’ Pacers interim coach Frank Vogel said. ‘For the guys in the locker room who have worked hard. For the older guys who haven’t been there in a while. For the young guys who are going to get a taste of it. I am so happy for our fans. It’s going to be a fun ride.’ The Pacers had to wait until the end of the Charlotte-Orlando game, which went into overtime, before they could celebrate. Team officials put the Charlotte game on the scoreboard in Conseco Fieldhouse so the remaining fans could watch. A loud roar of excitement could be heard outside the Pacers locker room once that game ended. ‘It’s been a trying time,’ said forward Danny Granger, who was on the 2005-06 team that last went to the playoffs. ‘We’ve had a lot of trades where we re-hauled the whole team and then had the off-court stuff that happened. (Team president) Larry Bird said three years ago we’d be back in the playoffs in three years. He was right. It’s great to be here, honestly.'”