OVERTIME: Pacers playoff hopes should interest Butler students

WESLEY BRYANT | SPORTS COLUMNIST

With the NBA regular season dwindling, many are worried about one of Indianapolis’ sources of pride. The Pacers’ playoff hopes are looking pretty slim. However, don’t count them out just yet. They can still make the playoffs, even with a losing record.

At Butler University, students will have the opportunity to get caught up in the playoff hunt. We have the chance to purchase cheap Pacers tickets, and, every once in a while, we get the opportunity to take a short field trip to a game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse through the university.

Not a lot of schools have that opportunity, let alone a local professional team to cheer for. Just a 15-minute drive to the heart of Indiana gives Butler students the opportunity to witness a deep playoff run unfold right in front of them.

Unfortunately, student don’t have much to do with professional sports in the off-campus scene and these types of locations aren’t exactly go-to destination for events.

Butler students are fortunate enough to live in a city where there’s a viable NBA team and that there are so many things to do in their surrounding community. So as the end of the season nears, we should all take advantage of the opportunity at hand to see a professional sports team in a playoff chase. Just think of how fun it was to see the city’s excitement surrounding this season’s run to the AFC Championship game by the Colts.

The Pacers could potentially make NBA history by securing a playoff spot with the worst regular season record. It is a long shot, but it is possible. The 1967-1968 Chicago Bulls made the playoffs with a 29-53 record, whereas the Pacers are currently sitting a half game behind the Brooklyn Nets for the final playoff spot at 23-33. Regardless, if the Pacers were to make the playoffs, it would almost certainly be with a losing record. But getting to the postseason is something for Pacers’ fans to be proud of.

The Pacers could improve exponentially if they do make the playoffs.

According to recent reports, forward Paul George could return to the court in the middle of March. George has been out since last summer after suffering a compound fracture in his right tibia during an exhibition game with Team USA.

Upon seeing the recent training footage of him dunking, one would be convinced that he still has his athleticism. The All-Star forward would immediately improve the team as a consistent scoring source.

With the possible addition of George and a weak Eastern Conference, the Pacers could make a postseason run.

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