Remember back in 2000 when the Reggie- and Jalen-led, Bird-coached Indiana Pacers faced off against the mighty Diesel-and-Mamba-fueled Lakers in a clash for some hardware? It was the franchise’s lone NBA Finals appearance and it was pretty unfortunate that they had to come up against what I consider to be the best team of the post-Jordan era. (Perhaps ironically, had they been able to get a few more offensive rebounds against Jordan’s last great team in 1998 and held on to beat the Bulls in that game seven, I have no doubt in my mind that they would have smoked the Jazz. That life is cruel, long and terrible is the only lesson here.)
Well, more than a decade has now passed and I think I can now look back at the series endearingly as the franchise’s one trip to the near-promised land as opposed to something that just makes me angry. So, below, check the well-produced-as-always NBA on NBC preview segment for what they termed the “Hoosiers vs. Hollywood” series. (via Silver Screen and Roll)
Somewhat relatedly to tonight’s game, here are two other little interesting info nuggets I just learned from Conrad Brunner’s latest Caught in the Web piece.
The first is that Indy has never won inside Staples Center. I’m pretty sure I actually knew that but forgot or whatever, but you don’t care about me so just read this excerpt about the team’s road trip.
They begin tonight in Staples Center, where they’ve never beaten the Lakers. The Pacers have lost 14 in a row (including three in the NBA Finals) and are 4-33 all-time on the road in this series.
The other thing that I definitely didn’t know was that the Pacers have the longest current streak in the NBA of having a winning record at home for the season. They are on the road tonight so it doesn’t really apply here, but 21 years is pretty darn impressive I thought.
This week and its four road games will be a strong indicator of the Pacers’ progress. The flip side of their 21-season streak of winning records at home, the longest in the NBA, is a recent history of major problems on the road. Their 9-32 record last season was the worst since 1988-89 and under Jim O’Brien they are 38-90 (.297).
Nice work, Conrad.
The more you know.
The NBA on NBC theme is definitely going to be the first song played at my wedding. Might even name my first born after it. She would probably be the most popular belle at the ball.