The Indiana Pacers flew under the radar all season, but after shocking the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 1, the world is learning what this team is capable of.
As it has now been pointed out several times, across various different media markets, the Indiana Pacers have had one nationally televised game, I repeat one, compared to the 39 nationally televised games the Cleveland Cavaliers have had this season.
All season long Pacer fans everywhere have screamed for more recognition. Now, they are getting just that. What Pacers fans have known all along, the rest of the world is just now finding out. It only took until April 15th — 7 months into the season — for the rest of the world to catch up.
As much as Pacers fans are basking in their teams thumping of Cleveland in Game 1, the Pacers players are acting as if its business as usual. Not one player in the Pacers locker room seemed to be satisfied with this win, which is exactly what you want if you are a Pacers fan.
When asked by a reporter if he believed anyone would have more faith in the Pacers after beating the Cavs, Lance Stephenson answered without hesitation, “No, they still won’t believe. We can’t let this game get to our heads and have to take the next time like it’s the first game.”
Lance’s teammates echoed similar if not the very same sentiments throughout the rest of the post-game interviews.
I wish I could say that I am surprised not only by the Pacers win but also how well they carried themselves after the game, but like Oladipo stated in his press conference, “We’ve been playing like this all year,” and anyone that has followed the Pacers has seen this work ethic and humbleness before.
The one thing Pacers fans did not expect, was how well their play and skills would work when going up against arguably the best player of our generation in LeBron James. Cavs turned over almost half of their roster at the trade deadline so nobody could use previous games as much of and indicator. Some could point to the fact that the Pacers were an astonishing 7-1 against the Cavs, Warriors, and Spurs this season but even then it’s hard to bet against LeBron James in the playoffs.
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As exciting as it is to finally see this Pacers team get some much-deserved credit by national media outlets, it’s still just one game of a seven-game series. And the Pacers have been in this position before, up one game on LeBron James and Co. in the playoffs and we all know how that turned out.
Certainly, Cavs head coach Tye Lue will make some adjustments and it’s hard to see their team shooting only 24% from the arc in any other game this series. LeBron James will definitely have a strong say in how the rest of this series turns out as he has in every other playoff series of his life.
But for now, Pacers fans everywhere can bask in glory, hail to Sir Lance-lot, shout “I told you so” to the TV and enjoy this much-deserved credit and national attention your home team Pacers are getting.
Get it all out of your system because come Wednesday, Lebron will have something to say himself. He always does.
But maybe, just maybe, the rest of the world won’t be so surprised if the outcome isn’t what they imagined.