Why this Indiana Pacers’ roster is so much fun to watch

Andrew Nembhard, Indiana Pacers (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)
Andrew Nembhard, Indiana Pacers (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images) /

As I sat and watched the Indiana Pacers make one of my favorite comebacks against Lebron James and the Los Angeles Lakers, I couldn’t help but think about how much fun I was having. And I spent a moment in reflection thinking about why this iteration of the team is a blast to watch.

The reason for the joy is a bit confounding. They aren’t the best team in the league by a long shot. They probably won’t compete for a championship this year. There’s a good chance if they make the playoffs they wouldn’t get out of the first round. There’s even a good argument to be made that they would be better off in the long-term losing these games they seem to be improbably winning.

But for some reason, these Pacers continue to capture my heart along with the hearts of Hoosiers around the state and Pacers’ fans across the world. Almost every game I find myself sitting on the edge of my seat, even when the team is clearly outmatched by their opponent.

Why the Indiana Pacers are so fun to watch

On Monday night against the Lakers, when the Pacers were playing relatively poorly and getting down early in the game, I still found myself glued to the TV not wanting to miss a moment. Will the young generational point guard Tyrese Haliburton, who fell on draft night, make a magical no-look pass reminiscent of the great Magic Johnson? Will Bennedict Mathurin drive the lane and get an and-one giving flashes of driving brilliance that we used to see from Derrick Rose? Will Isaiah Jackson jump to the rafters to get a one-handed alley-oop that reminds us of Odell Beckham Jr. somehow defying the laws of physics to catch the ball?

I actually don’t think it is any of that quite frankly. While all of that is exciting and certainly is adding to the joy this team is bringing me and other fans, I think there is something else too. The NBA posted a video of the Pacers in the tunnel after the buzzer-beater to beat the Los Angeles Lakers.

Do you see that? That’s joy. That’s excitement. That’s a group of men having the absolute time of their lives. And lucky for us, they are inviting us along for the ride to share in that joy, excitement, and fun that they bring to the court every single night.

They may not win a championship, but they have won me and countless other Pacer fans over to sitting on the edge of our seats and hoping the excitement never ends.

Next. Comparing Haliburton to All-Time Point Guards. dark