Only One National TV Game?
Despite some fresh new faces in Indiana and their new status as one of the league’s most exciting teams to watch in the coming years, nothing has changed as far as the schedule makers are concerned, as Indiana has once again only received one nationally televised game all season, with this sole game coming at the end of January vs a Boston Celtics team that most expect to make it to the NBA Finals.
Admittedly, the Pacers and Celtics have produced exciting matchups 2 out of the 3 times they faced off last year, so they are certainly liable for producing an entertaining game whenever they are matched up together, which is also amplified by Boston trading away Marcus Smart for Washington’s Kristaps Porzingis, which in turn moves one of the best perimeter defenders in the league away from Tyrese Haliburton, thus making it more possible for a national TV outburst, which would put Indiana in the spotlight.
However, this should not take away from the fact that this should not be Indiana’s only nationally televised game. Ever since the Paul George era in Indy ended in 2017, Indiana has gained a reputation as a “League-Pass team”, or in other words, a team that must be sought out to watch, and will not get any national TV attention, despite probably deserving it.
This year is no different, as many have noted the Pacers as a team to watch in the East, and are looking forward to watching them on League Pass. However, one can also come to the conclusion that Indiana’s recent moves have graduated them from the shadows of the NBA League Pass and have taken them to a team that people want to see on national TV.
Whether it is against the aforementioned Kings or another team the Pacers had exciting games with, such as the Lakers, the Indiana Pacers deserve more than one nationally televised game a year, which is a sentiment shared by most fans after the schedule was released.