Free agent forward David West took a lot of grief for spurning the Celtics to sign with the Pacers, but so far it looks like West made the right call. The Pacers are in second place in the Central Division and are battling for one of the top four seeds in the Eastern Conference, which would net them home-court advantage in at least the first round of the playoffs.
The Bulls and Heat may be the class of the East, but the Pacers are waiting to pounce if the Hawks, Sixers or Magic falter. With the Bulls firmly entrenched atop the standings, it will be difficult for the Pacers to claim the Central title, but the fourth seed is up for grabs.
Indiana takes on the Celtics on Friday for the third time this season, and both previous meetings were Pacers victories. The Pacers seem certain to improve on last year's .451 win percentage, but are they primed to become one of the elites?