Extra Pass: Bucks look to tighten grip on top spot vs. Pacers

Published March 16, 2023, 4:00 PMJon Carlos Rodriguez

Two teams at the opposite ends of the Eastern Conference playoff picture will face off tomorrow live at 8:00 AM on NBA League Pass.

What’s up with the Milwaukee Bucks?

The Milwaukee Bucks is the first team to clinch a playoff spot. They have the league’s best win-loss record at 50-19. They have this era’s most powerful, most dominant player in Giannis Antetokounmpo. They also signed Meyers Leonard to help them inside throughout the playoffs.

Perhaps except for the last bit, all of those things sound scary for the teams not named the Bucks. Antetokounmpo has been locked in since Game 1 and never skipped a beat–regardless of who among his teammates dropped off due to injuries. These days, the Bucks roster is in full force and is looking as dangerous, if not more, than the version that went to the NBA Finals in 2021.

What’s up with the Indiana Pacers?

The Indiana Pacers are a young and exciting team with a bunch of gunners. That formula doesn’t necessarily equate to an elite playoff team but it’s gotten the Pacers to a decent shot at the play-in tournament. That’s not too bad. The future's looking bright in Indiana with Tyrese Haliburton being the stud point guard he’s turning out to be.

In the meantime, Indiana is at 31-38, good for the 12th spot in the East. They’re just a game behind the Washington Wizards, a team that’s currently hanging onto the last play-in slot. Unfortunately for the Pacers, Haliburton is hurt and has missed three of the Pacers’ last six games. He’s questionable for the game versus Milwaukee. When he’s on the court though, he’s on. In the last four games, Hali averaged 32.3 points and 13.0 assists. If he’s able to pull through in Indiana’s last few games, the Pacers have a shot at the playoffs.

Storyline to watch out for

Should the Pacers squeeze their way into the playoffs, they will most certainly face the Bucks in the first round. With how the Bucks are currently playing, this game would be the ultimate test for the young Pacers. This is their first meeting of the season, at a time when the Bucks are already cruising to the top seed and the Pacers are battling for the last seed.


Securing a playoff spot won’t mean that the Bucks will slow down in any way. If anything, they would be more protective of holding the league’s best record and top spot. The Pacers are in for a long night trying to contain an extremely focused Antetokounmpo.

Where to watch

These two teams at the opposite ends of the Eastern Conference playoff picture will face off tomorrow live at 8:00 AM on NBA League Pass.