Paul George and the Indiana Pacers have reason for excitement come the 2013 playoffs. Ideally, if they avoid certain opponents in the first round, their momentum and chances of making a deep playoff push will skyrocket.
Therefore, which teams should they specifically hope to draw in the first round? Further, which teams should they avoid?
The Pacers are currently atop the Central Division and are situated as the second seed in the Eastern Conference. With a high seed, it would inhibit team morale if they meet a playoff-tested, proven foe right off the bat.
Indiana's core possesses the defensive grit to make major noise come this spring, but matchups play a vital role in this. They are still relatively young (their superstar, George, is just 22 years old), and the presence of veteran Danny Granger is questionable going forward.
Because of this, they are by no means a lock for the Eastern Conference Finals or even the conference semifinals. The wrong matchup could spell doom for this bunch.
This is why the right opposition is imperative for the Pacers in the first round, and this list breaks down who they should long to play initially while creeping toward who to avoid.