The Indiana Pacers experienced a tumultuous season marred by injuries, COVID-19 postponements, high-profile trades, and drama between the head coach and players. Despite all the craziness, you can wager on a prop bet from DraftKings on whether the Indiana Pacers will make the playoffs.
The Pacers (30-35) currently occupy the #9 spot in the Eastern Conference playoff hunt, leading the #10 Washington Wizards (30-36) by a half-game. The postseason future of the Pacers hinges on their success or failure in the inaugural play-in tournament.
The banged-up Pacers are an underdog to make the playoffs at +175 odds. You can back the Packers to miss the playoffs at -230 odds.
|Prop Bet: Will the Indiana Pacers Make the Playoffs?|
|Yes +175||No -230|
If the Pacers are a #9 or #10 team in the East, they’ll only qualify for the postseason with two wins in the play-in tournament. If they win the Nine-Ten Game, then they face the loser of the Seven-Eight Game, in which the winner of that second game earns the #8 seed.
Nate Bjorkgren Hot Seat
Rookie head coach Nate Bjorkgren might not be the head coach of the Pacers for much longer. All during the season, rumors suggested the team wasn’t responding well to their new head coach. Bjorkgren struggled to relate to players, which in turn created intense turmoil inside the locker room.
“Bjorkgren has significant work to do with his relationships among players throughout the team, and with some members of the organization, but he has thus far shown a willingness to try to address those issues,” wrote Adrian Wojnarowski from ESPN.
“I’m a young coach and learning,” said Bjorkgren. “I’m growing and I’m trying to be better. This is on me. I’m the head coach and fingers should be pointed at me. I love coaching this team and the relationships with these coaches and players, I’ve just got to keep getting better.”
Despite the dysfunctional squad, the Pacers are still in the playoff picture. They’re led by Malcolm Brogdon (21.2 ppg, 5.9 assists, 5.3 rebounds) and Domantas Sabonis (20.2 ppg, 11.9 rebounds, 6.2 assists). In 20 games with the Pacers, Caris LeVert averages 20.0 ppg.
Regardless of whether or not the Pacers make the playoffs, it looks like Bjorkgren will become the fall guy. He’ll likely become a one-and-done coach and be fired after one season, despite losing numerous starters to injury, including TJ Warren for nearly the entire season.
If the Pacers fire Bjorkgren, they’ll take a look at Jason Kidd, Mike D’Antoni, Mark Jackson, or David Fizdale.
On Deck: Hawks, Wizards, Cavs
The Pacers have seven more games remaining in the regular season. They dropped two in a row, including an 11-point loss against the short-handed Sacramento Kings last night, who were missing De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton.
The Pacers finish off back-to-back games tonight against the Atlanta Hawks. On Saturday, the Pacers host the Washington Wizards again in a game that could determine which one of them hosts a home game in the Nine-Ten Game. Then again, do the Pacers really want a home game? They’re 11-20 in Indianapolis this season while going 19-15 on the road.
This past Sunday, the Pacers lost an exhilarating, high-octane shootout against the Washington Wizards. The two teams combined for 295 points.
Next week, the Pacers will squeeze in five games in seven days, including a pair of back-to-back matches. Their opponents in the final week of the season include Cleveland Cavs, Philadelphia 76ers, Milwaukee Bucks, LA Lakers, and Toronto Raptors.
Check out more prop bets and more coverage of the 2021 NBA playoffs.