For weeks the Pacers have stood at a precipice. They outlasted the Hawks and survived the Wizards, though in neither case disproved their apparent vulnerability. Indiana's run through the Eastern Conference finals has unfolded in much the same way. Even after extending their season with a 93-90 win over the Heat in Game 5 on Wednesday, the Pacers will face elimination again on Friday and, if victorious, yet again on Sunday. At some point therein Indiana's season will likely end, as would befit an overmatched team threatening to unravel at any moment. The Pacers' season is alive only technically, and when it is soon finished, so too will be the basketball barrier between Indiana and salary-cap peril.
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