(Eds: With AP Photos.) By MICHAEL MAROT AP Sports Writer The Indiana Pacers can finally focus on what everybody else has been talking about all season - winning playoff games.
Less than 24 hours after finishing the regular season with a loss to Philadelphia, the Pacers returned to practice to prepare for Sunday's opening game against Atlanta. It's about time.
''You know what we did in the regular season, and we accomplished a lot. We're not happy with how we ended it, but this is great thing for us,'' All-Star Paul George said, referring to the grinding six-month schedule that has set them up to make a postseason run. ''We choose our own fate, it's in our hands now.''
The Pacers (49-32) couldn't ask for anything else.
Despite closing the season with five losses in six games and blowing a chance to earn the No. 2 seed behind Miami, Indiana still has home-court advantage in the first round for a second straight season. If the Pacers win the best-of-seven series against the Hawks, ...