Seeing the Pacers and Knicks battle it out tonight makes me think about the playoff battles the old Pacers had and even how regular season games felt important. Getting past the Knicks was so important to putting the Pacers on the map. But now who is the Pacers current rival? How about overall, is there a real rivalry in the NBA?
I would love for the Pacers and Knicks to get back to that type of environment and if both teams keep improving, we could get that. If I had to pick a team that resembles a rival for the Pacers, I’d go with the Bulls.
Last year in the playoffs, you saw an intensity between the teams, and still believe the Pacers had a real shot at upsetting the Bulls, which could have kick started this. Then this season, the Pacers pick up a win in Chicago, where Derrick Rose says he doesn’t like them.
That’s what it takes for a rivalry to start brewing. There needs to be that feeling of hatred between the teams. Nowadays, NBA players are so lovely dovey with each other, there’s not much going on between guys. I understand you don’t need to go out and hurt each other in a basketball game, but you can show me you want to beat a team. The Pacers have already heard Derrick Rose and Kevin Love say they both don’t like the team, and as a fan that gets me amped up.
That shows this team is putting themselves out there showing they want to win, and will get physical about winning. Look at what happened when the Clippers came to town, Blake Griffin gets a couple of hard fouls, and he’s not going to the basket anymore in that game.
The Pacers can use some sort of rivalry to show that they’re back contending in the Eastern Conference, and I think the Bulls can be that team. What do you think? Who is the Pacers rival right now? Is there one?