INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The “Race for the East” that came down to the wire between the Miami Heat and the Indiana Pacers is officially over.
The Pacers’ playoff seed and their first round opponent have now been locked up. The Blue and Gold wanted the number one seed from the very start of the season and Monday night they accomplished that goal. Indiana will have home court advantage throughout the Eastern Conference playoffs.
They have Washington to thank for clinching the top spot. Dwyane Wade was the only Heat star to play as both Lebron James and Chris Bosh sat out Monday’s game against the Wizards. Washington cruised to a 114-93 victory over Miami, allowing the Pacers to lock-up the number one seed in the East for the first time since 2004.
The Pacers will take on the Atlanta Hawks in the first round. The Hawks were Indiana’s first round opponent last year – a series the Pacers won in six games. With Wednesday’s season finale against Orlando now being meaningless, expect Frank Vogel to rest his starters in that game.