With the final month of the NBA season around the corner, we have a better understanding of which of the remaining games on the Indiana Pacers' schedule will be the most meaningful as they prepare for the playoffs.
With only nine games remaining on their schedule, the Pacers will play five of those final nine games against playoff teams. More importantly, two of those games will likely be the first and second round match-ups in the playoffs.
It's not a question of the five most important games in April; the standings have already told us that. It's more of a question of which games Pacers fans should be most inclined to watch.
Yes, John Wall's recent stellar play almost caused me to include the Wizards on this list, because he is becoming a must-watch player. I resisted, though, because the Wizards will be sitting at home during the playoffs and also because half their team is hurt.
Similarly, if Kyrie Irving were healthy the Pacers-Cavaliers game would be one to sit down and watch, but without Irving the Cavs are just another below-average team.
The most important games for Pacers fans to watch the rest of the way are the ones that will be of relevance to their playoff chances. Therefore, a potential first round matchup will be more of a must-watch than a potential Finals matchup, even if the team in the latter is much more exciting.
One thing you will notice about the following games is that the Pacers have struggled against these teams all year. They have a combined record of 2-7 against these five teams, so playing well in these games will give them confidence going forward.
Although they have struggled in the past, April is a new month with new beginnings. So here are the five most important games to watch in April for Indiana Pacer fans.