On the night before Christmas, all was calm around Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Same can be said for Christmas Day, as far as the Indiana Pacers are concerned.
Maybe not all was calm – it would be hard to believe nobody was working inside the home of the Pacers in the past two days.
Nonetheless, Indiana was not slated to play in one of the NBA’s showcase of marquee matchups on December 25. Many wondered why the Eastern Conference runner-up was not listed as one of the 10 teams playing on national television.
According to Pacers head coach Frank Vogel, it was never an issue. Vogel stated he would rather spend Christmas with his wife and two daughters. Most of his players agreed that having a few days off to spend with family and friends was preferable.
In light of it all, Indiana was given Christmas Eve and Christmas Day off to get away from all basketball activity.
Coming off three straight blowout wins and a blistering 23-5 record – tied for best in the league – the break is well-deserved. The Indiana Pacers won back-t0-back games earlier this week over Boston and Brooklyn, respectively. They will not play again until December 28 when they host the Brooklyn Nets. Indiana already owns a 2-0 advantage in the season series with Brooklyn. Both wins have come on the road at the Barclays Center.
During the most recent contest, the frustration from losing was on display for Nets forward Paul Pierce. As George Hill broke away in transition for what should have been an easy layup, Pierce came in with a close-arm to Hill’s neck. The ensuing action for Pierce was a Flagrant 2 foul (automatic ejection) and a $15,000 fine from the NBA.
I would imagine Hill is certainly enjoying having Christmas off to ice the bruises.
One would think the Indiana Pacers would have boded well on national television, however. The blue and gold certainly couldn’t have done worse than Brooklyn, New York and San Antonio, all which lost by double-digits on their home floor. Through four games this afternoon, not one home team has walked away with a win.
Brooklyn and New York were simply dominated by Chicago and Oklahoma City, respectively. The Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors have yet to tip off.