Well by now if you’re a fan of the Pacers or were in attendance last night, you realized the power of an opponent’s fans. The Laker fans were in full force last evening, and the Pacers didn’t like that at all. But I will respond back with fans didn’t like the way the Pacers were performing last night, and haven’t been playing the past couple of weeks. Sure the Pacers are right there in second place and with a hold on the Central Division lead. You still need to win games, and make yourself a threat to the Miami Heat, who look like they might make the playoffs a cake walk. I understand the goals of winning the division and getting the second spot, but how about improving the play as well.
I was actually quite surprise by one player’s reaction to last night’s festivities. George Hill was in the locker room talking to Roy Hibbert about the other fans last night, and Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star has posted a transcript of all those on goings. I understand Hill’s frustrations with fan support as I’ve felt that same way. I’ve probably resigned to the fact that when fans want to come around for this team, they will. I can only be a flag bearer so long. I write for this site, and attend games. I talk to people about the team and where they could go. I listen to the games on the radio as I don’t have any tv access to watch games. That’s die hard right? But that’s the thing us die hard fans are the ones cheering for this squad, and wanting them to go far in the playoffs.
I honestly don’t know what it will take to get those more casual fans back to this team. They’ve got those great players for the community. They are always having meet and greets. Roy Hibbert has his own fan section. George Hill and Paul George have combined for a fan zone. The ticket prices aren’t too bad if you hunt for the best deals. The team is one of the better teams in the NBA. Will it take an actual superstar for fans to come around? I guess that is probably the best answer for this.
But we do have Paul George who is looking like he’s ready to make that step up. How can you not love the play of David West, who I would probably pick first if I were playing in a pick up game. Roy Hibbert has come back around to his offensive side and his defensive side has been impressive. Then you have George Hill, hometown kid, who all the fans should love since you know he’s from INDIANAPOLIS. Remember all those bitter fans when the Pacers selected Reggie Miller over Steve Alford? Or how about fans clamoring for the Pacers to pick up Gordon Heyward in the 2010 draft? Well guess what George Hill went to Broad Ripple High School and attended IUPUI right in downtown Indy. HOW MUCH MORE HOMETOWN CAN YOU GET? If fans don’t want to support someone like that, I don’t know what to tell you.
I think as well it’s going to take a good playoff run and another year of great play for those fans to be in attendance each and every night. I believe the attendance has really picked up. Early this season, you went to a week night game, and you’d hear a pin drop. But just a couple of weeks ago, on a Wednesday night against Golden State was one of the best crowds I’ve seen. Against the Warriors? Yes, that’s right against the Warriors. That felt like a playoff game there. Last night’s game had that aura as well with the teams really duking it out there in the beginning. Even the Boston Celtics had their own spring of fans, so unfortunately George Hill shouldn’t be that surprised by it.
But what he can do is improve the play of this team, so us fans have more to cheer for. I was definitely upset by last night’s game, and felt like that should have been a win based on how well the Pacers can play. But it didn’t happen, and now here we are. I think for tonight’s game against the Philadelphia 76ers, this Pacers team BETTER come out and put the team away early. This shouldn’t be a contest with how good this Pacers team is. They should win comfortably and anything less could be considered a disappointment. The fans will come around once this team comes around.