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DIME MAG GAME OF THE DAY: Sixers at Pacers

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The Deal

You think Reggie Miller loves this? It's the last game of the season, it's an absolute must-win for his Pacers if they want to make the playoffs, they're playing one of their biggest rivals and maybe most importantly, all eyes are on him. The Pacers have won four in a row, scrapping with everything they have to keep their playoff hopes alive. Two of those wins came against the Milwaukee Bucks and Toronto Raptors, who the Pacers are fighting tooth and nail for the last playoff spots in the East.
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The Sixers are in. They've done just enough without AI the lineup, somehow holding down the fort despite all their injuries. They shot themselves in the foot in their last game by losing to the Bulls, effectively killing their hopes for any type of home-court advantage in the first round.

The Weapons

For Philly, it's whoever's hot that day. Check that, it's whoever's dressed that day. Guys like Speedy Claxton have gone down with concussions, Aaron McKie missed time because of dizziness caused by being poked in the eye and Derrick Coleman has been moved to the DL with a hyperextended knee.
Eastern Conference playoff picture
Team W L Pct. Wednesday night
1. New Jersey 51 30 .630 at New York, 7:30 p.m. ET
2. Detroit 49 32 .605 vs. Milwaukee, 7:30 p.m. ET
3. Boston 48 33 .593 vs. Atlanta, 7 p.m. ET
4. Orlando 44 37 .543 vs. Miami, 7:30 p.m. ET
5. Philadelphia 43 38 .531 at Indiana, 8 p.m. ET
6. Charlotte 43 38 .531 vs. Chicago, 7 p.m. ET
7. Milwaukee 41 40 .506 at Detroit, 7:30 p.m. ET
8. Toronto 41 40 .506 vs. Cleveland, 7 p.m. ET
9. Indiana 41 40 .506 vs. Philadelphia, 8 p.m. ET
The one steady weapon for Philly lately has been Eric Snow, of all people. He's scored 43 combined in the last two games and has been beating up smaller point guards with his size and strength. For the Pacers, don't look now, but they have arguably the best center in the East in Jermaine O'Neal. And if he isn't already, he will be very, very soon. In his last four games, when his guys have needed him the most, he's had games of 29, 20, 26 and 34. Like we said before, though, crunch time is Reggie time. There's still no one in the League who shoots better coming off screens, especially at the end of games.

The Drama

When it comes down to it, the Pacers can only worry about themselves. The only thing they can do is try and beat Philly and hope for the best from the Bucks and the Raptors. The Bucks play the Pistons and the Raps finish up against Cleveland. If the Pacers drop this game, their season is definitely done, because they would lose any of the tiebreakers with Milwaukee and Toronto. The odds look to be in Indiana's favor, though. Despite the Sixers being banged up, their spot's already wrapped up. They might be looking just to rest up one last game before the second season starts. .
Tagged: Pistons, Pacers, Bucks

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