The reminder usually sits in the top right corner of the dry-erase board before every game, next to the "togetherness" message.

That's where Indiana Pacers coach Frank Vogel puts the Eastern Conference standings.

The Pacers departed Indianapolis more than a week ago in excellent shape. They were at the top of the Central Division and third overall in the East.

The question surrounding the Pacers when they left for their four-game Western Conference swing was whether they could maintain their lofty standing despite having problems winning away from Bankers Life Fieldhouse this season.

The Pacers returned home in the wee hours Tuesday morning 1½ games behind the Chicago Bulls in the division race and fifth in the conference.