Last year, the Indiana Pacers were beat in the first round of the NBA Playoffs by Derrick Rose. This year they made it to the second round before being ousted by a historically crazy-good performance from the Dwyane Wade / LeBron James dynamic scoring duo.
The Pacers could have, and probably should have, beaten the Heat who were without their third scoring option (Chris Bosh). It would have been a victory for team basketball, balance and depth over the established orthodoxy of super star dominance. Unfortunately, Indiana couldn't move the ball well enough to win. Perhaps with more time together as a unit, increased cohesion will lead to better execution. Two shouldn't be able to beat five.
For fans in Indiana, however, there is a certain mid-West sense of optimism in the loss as expressed by SB Nation's Indy Cornrows.
Indy Cornrows - For Indiana Pacers Fans
So after another frustrating playoff series loss, the Pacers head into the offseason with another elite rival in the Eastern Conference. Even better, the playoff run into late May has rejuvenated the NBA spirit of the city and raised the team's profile around town to make people aware of the hard work put in by the players, coaches and front office to make this a team that fans can proudly root for again.
'Net Cords' features the great work being done by the SB Nation network of NBA team sites.