The Indiana Pacers have come off of two disappointing seasons, but have held some amount of promise. Yes, we haven’t made the playoffs, but we have seen growth and a turnaround of veterans to youth that many fans are excited.
But there is always this feeling of, will the Pacers just do the same thing that they always do? Top out somewhere near the top of the eastern conference but never make it to the top of the mountain.
The feeling comes from years of not getting the job done. Years of getting close only to watch it slip through our grasp at the last moment. And even when we have made it to the finals (one time) we have run into the buzzsaw of all-time level superstars.
So why do I believe that we can do this?
1. The league seems to want to improve the lot of small-market teams.
With expansion potentially on the horizon, the league will want to emphasize parity among the teams. After all, if someone believes that their newly formed team has no chance at winning, that may take out some of the highest bidders and new markets.
2. The team appears to have it’s next long-awaited franchise cornerstone, and he seems happy.
Tyrese Haliburton seems to love Indiana and Indiana seems to love Tyrese Haliburton. No longer are we hoping for the California kid to stay (Reggie did, Paul didn’t), but we have a true-blue midwestern born superstar. That seems to be able to anchor a team and maybe even attract some high-level free agents, a hallmark of Pacers teams that have put it together before (i.e. David West).
3. The front office seems committed to not over-commit.
So many teams are going through rapid tear-downs and trade for star cycles that they never end up actually building anything. It appears the Pacers are going to go the other way and slowly build chemistry and longevity amongst their team, a strategy that winning small-market teams have used in recent years to counteract the super-teams (Spurs, Bucks, Nuggets).
It may feel hard, but there are reasons to believe in this team and in this front-office to get it put together and get the job done. The future is bright.