East Notes: Pacers, Hawks, Trae Young, Knicks


The Pacers were officially eliminated from playoff contention courtesy of their loss to the Cavaliers on Sunday.

But overall, it was a fairly surprising season and something on which to build, coach Rick Carlisle suggested.

“You cannot undersell the importance of internal development. Having young guys learn,” Carlisle said, via Dustin Dopirak of the Indianapolis Star.

The Pacers were again without injured starting point guard Tyrese Haliburton as well as center Myles Turner in defeat. Those two could remain out, but Carlisle expects the Pacers to give similar effort to close out the season.

“What would change?” he said when asked if anything would now that Indiana has been mathematically eliminated, via Dopirak.


  • The Hawks moved back into eight place in the Eastern Conference courtesy of their overtime win over the Mavericks on Sunday.
  • They are now one game ahead of the Bulls for the final play-in spot. Notably, Atlanta visits Chicago on Tuesday night.
  • Sunday’s outcome wasn’t decided until guard Trae Young crashed into Mavs star Kyrie Irving in the final two seconds of OT. Irving was whistled for a foul and Young made both free throws to win it. “Kind of a lucky play for us and unlucky for them,” Young said.


The Knicks officially clinched a playoff spot, via a win over the Wizards on Sunday. It’s the second time in coach Tom Thibodeau‘s three seasons New York has done so.

“Making the playoffs is a great accomplishment, but it’s one of several,” Thibodeau told reporters. “It’s the next step along the way. Just keep checking the boxes.”

  • The Knicks are 2-0 since power forward Julius Randle sprained his ankle. Randle had  started all 77 games before that. The Knicks are hopeful he’ll be ready for Game 1 of the playoffs.

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