Question after recent play: Which team will show up?

Once upon a not-too-distant time, when they were the talk of the NBA, it seemed certain this installment of the Indiana Pacers was destined to be the best in franchise history.

Six weeks later, on the eve of the playoffs, the only certainty about this team’s legacy is that it is very much undetermined. Ignominious or glorious, it will be one or the other. Both avenues are wide open.

The Pacers’ late swoon has raised concerns about where they are headed. They are the top seed in the Eastern Conference but could just as easily be first-round casualties as East champions.

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