Zach Lowe places the Pacers dead last in his League Pass rankings

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - APRIL 23: Myles Turner /

ESPN’s Zach Lowe ranked the Pacers 30th in his annual League Pass rankings, and it’s hard to really blame him.

On Monday, ESPN’s Zach Lowe released his sixth annual NBA League Pass rankings, an official yet subjective ranking of the most entertaining teams to watch in the NBA each year. The Indiana Pacers, boasting new faces and a budding young star, ranked dead last.

30th out of 30. Ouch.

Here’s what he had to say off the top:

"Has a single person mentioned the Pacers in the past four months in any context other than, “That’s all they got for Paul George????” Do they exist? Did you know they signed Bojan Bogdanovic, and there is a real chance he leads them in scoring? It’s true!This team had zero identity with Paul George — no style, no bedrock philosophy — and now George has turned into Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis. Opponents outscored Indy by almost seven points per 100 possessions with George on the bench last season. They were nothing without him. Not even the comedy of Lance Stephenson barking orders, dribbling to nowhere, and trash-talking LeBron like it’s 2014 could keep them from the cellar."

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He’s certainly not pulling any punches, but exaggerations aside, it’s hard to disagree with him. Bogdanovic probably isn’t outscoring Victor Oladipo, but Lowe is going for effect for than substance here. Essentially, a general NBA fan will find little of interest in Indiana.

There are undoubtedly storylines to follow with this team. We have been and will continue to write at length about them. But yeah, the Pacers might not be the best to look at on a Tuesday in December. That’s fine.

Lowe got a little nicer in the second half of his blurb:

"Myles Turner is a future star on both ends, and he should get a chance to stretch himself with George gone. He will shoot more 3s, and he sniffed averaging one steal and two blocks per game last season — relatively lofty territory for a big man. (Hakeem Olajuwon pulled this in 15 separate seasons. Hakeem Olajuwon was freaking ridiculous.)A slimmed-down Al Jefferson might son fools with low-post fakery again. The viewing experience is pleasant, though your mileage may vary on Quinn Buckner’s nonstop patter. The new Nike uniforms, with the team name forming a circle around the jersey number, have an old-school minimalist vibe befitting the Hoosier state ethos that elevates the game above the noise. (The softer blue-on-yellow version, which includes no white or highlighting, reminds of those all-gray uniforms Kevin Arnold and Paul Pfeiffer wore to gym class.)"

I hope he’s right about Jefferson, although I wouldn’t mind seeing a healthy Ike Anigbogu see some minutes as well. I’ve caped for the uniforms at length before so I won’t repeat myself here, but they’re dope.

I would also add that seeing what Oladipo can do with both opportunity and a non-Orlando zip code is something that is potentially intriguing to a typical NBA fan. He was the No. 2 overall pick not too long ago, he’s got a highlight-reel type of dynamism, and he releases songs with 2 Chainz. Nuff said.

I’m not sure I would have the Pacers underneath the Magic if I were in charge of these rankings, but I understand the line of thinking that led us here. Obviously, Pacers fans are tuning into games with a different mindset than an objective scribe such as Zach Lowe.

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Unwatchable or not, we’ll keep writing about all 82 games.