The Indiana Pacers will wear their retro Flo-Jo jerseys for the regular season finale against the Memphis Grizzlies on April 15. The Pacers (38-43) are competing for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
The Indiana Pacers will wear their retro Flo-Jo jerseys for the regular season finale against the Memphis Grizzlies on April 15.
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According to a press release on the Pacers' official website, the NBA approved the team's request to wear the jerseys for the game on Wednesday which will be televised by FOX Sports Indiana and ESPN.
Should Indiana beat Memphis, the team will make the playoffs for a fifth straight season, per Pacers.com.
The late track star Florence Griffith-Joyner designed the popular jerseys which the Pacers initially used from 1990-97. The Flo-Jos coincided with Indiana's most successful run during that decade, per the team's official website.
During that span, Indiana made six playoff appearances and the Eastern Conference Finals twice, per Pacers.com.
The Pacers initially wore the Flo-Jos six times during the 2014-15 NBA regular season as part of the league's Hardwood Classics program. Indiana asked the NBA for permission to wear the retro uniforms for its game against the Detroit Pistons on April 10, a 107-103 road win.
Indiana has not lost this season when its players wear the Flo-Jos, winning by an average of 10.7 points, per Pacers.com.
Pacers.com's Wheat Hotchkiss weighed in on the Pacers playoff chances on Wednesday. Indiana is coming off a hard-fought, 99-95 double-overtime victory over the Washington Wizards on Tuesday:
"Of course, that's easier said than done. The Pacers have reeled off six straight wins, but it remains to be seen how much they'll have left in the tank after Tuesday's demanding double-overtime win over the Washington Wizards.
"It is never easy to travel for the second night of a back-to-back, especially after such a hard-fought contest, but this Pacers squad has already shown plenty of resilience over the course of a season riddled with adversity.
"Should the Pacers falter in Memphis, they could still sneak into the playoffs with a little help. In that scenario, Indiana would need (the) Orlando (Magic) to win at Brooklyn. Otherwise, the (Brooklyn) Nets would would claim the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, since they own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Pacers."
On the Grizzlies' part, they could move up to the fifth seed in the West with a win over the Pacers on Wednesday. Otherwise, they lock up the sixth seed. However, Memphis is shooting for the higher seed so they can have homecourt advantage over the fourth-seeded Portland Trail Blazers, per Pacers.com.
Hotchkiss says whoever the fifth seed in the West will be will wind up with the better record than the Blazers, thus earning homecourt advantage.
It won't be easy for Memphis.
The Grizzlies are dealing with several injuries. All-Star center Marc Gasol has a sprained ankle while point guard Mike Conley has an injured foot. Ace defender Tony Allen has a strained hamstring, per Pacers.com.
As for Indiana, Hotchkiss says the Pacers will be without guard C.J. Watson (sore right elbow) and forward Chris Copeland (injuries to abdomen and left elbow).
The Pacers.com update reveals Indiana has the upper hand in its all-time series against Memphis with a 24-13 win-loss record. However, the Pacers are just 4-9 all-time in Memphis. The Grizzlies are looking to sweep the Pacers for the first time since the 2010-11 NBA season.
Whether the Pacers make the playoffs or not, they are making a statement with their recent winning ways.
Their 21-11 record since Feb. 1 is the Eastern Conference's second-best behind the No. 2-seeded Cleveland Cavaliers, who have gone 23-9 during that stretch. According to the ESPN Stats and Information Group, Indiana has gone from third-worst in offense to a top-10 one mainly because of its shooting beyond the arc.
Since Feb. 1, the Pacers have shot 39.5 percent from the three-point area. That's the third-best mark in the NBA, per ESPN.
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