When the NBA canceled the first two weeks of the regular season, Pacers fans were likely most heart-broken about losing the home opener against the hated Boston Celtics. It would have been the first time for fans to see the team live following its valiant playoff series against Chicago. It would also be the first in-person look at George Hill in an Indian jersey.
For Zach Lowe of Sports Illustrated’s The Point Forward, however, the most unfortunate collateral damage from the floundering player/owner negotiations is the team’s lone schedule trip to Oklahoma City. He explains why he called that game one of the “10 Games we’ll miss the most this season.”
Nov. 4: Indiana Pacers @ Oklahoma City Thunder
The adorable Pacers, those under-.500 darlings of the first round, created a fair bit of buzz by pushing Chicago in a tight five-game series and then acquiring George Hill from the Spurs in the offseason. Then Roy Hibbert killed it on “Parks and Recreation”! Fans are excited in Indiana, and there is a lot of room here for internal development among the young guys — Hibbert, Darren Collison, Tyler Hansbrough, Paul George and Hill.
Want to be taken seriously right away? Hang tight with the Thunder on the road. Let’s see Hibbert bang with Kendrick Perkins and Serge Ibaka down low. Let’s watch Danny Granger, Hill and George – the latter so tough on Derrick Rose in the postseason – take turns dealing with Kevin Durant. Let’s see if Collison is up for it against Russell Westbrook, his fellow UCLA guy. Fun stuff, gone.
Sad Keanu and Sad Greg Oden agree.