The Indiana Pacers will never get the most media attention. They’re a small market team – that’s just how it works. But they have some very fun players on the roster.
Tyrese Haliburton made his first All-Star game last year and looks like a star in the making. His performance at the FIBA World Cup turned heads, and he could be in for another breakout season next year.
Plus, with guys like Myles Turner, Obi Toppin, Benedict Mathurin, and Jarace Walker next to him, the Pacers have a team full of interesting pieces that could mesh very well together. There are plenty of storylines to follow.
Unfortunately, the NBA seemingly refuses to put the Pacers on national television, as they have just one of said games during the upcoming season. It’s an unfortunately disrespectful reality.
However, the NBA’s newest rule could make that a cheat code for them.
The NBA’s new rule could be a cheat code for the Indiana Pacers
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the NBA is considering putting stronger restrictions on resting stars, particularly in nationally televised games. The league’s governors are reportedly going to vote on the matter on Wednesday, September 13.
However, the NBA put qualifications on what defines a star player, noting they will have had to have been an All-Star or All-NBA player within the last three years. This means only Haliburton will qualify for the Indiana Pacers.
The reason this rule could be a cheat code for the Pacers is simply that it won’t really affect them, but it will affect a lot of the teams they will be competing against.
Haliburton isn’t the type of player to want to sit out games. And even if he does, it certainly won’t be a game that’s on national television, especially considering the Pacers quite literally only have one of those this year – and he talked about how he’s already circled it on his calendar.
But one quick look around the league and things could get dicey for some other teams. While it may not affect the Pacers’ matchups with teams as much because the games won’t be on national TV, Indiana could still have an advantage.
If teams like the Philadelphia 76ers, Milwaukee Bucks, and Boston Celtics have to play their stars more often than they want, they could get worn down by the end of the regular season.
This could be particularly concerning for a player like Joel Embiid, who carries a heavy load for the 76ers and will play in a ton of nationally televised games.
And while it may not cause them to lose significantly more games, the Pacers could still benefit from some big market teams around them losing a few more games.
Teams like the Atlanta Hawks and Chicago Bulls, who will be near the Pacers in the standings and have multiple players who fall under the “star” guideline, could lose more games than they bargain for.
So, while the Pacers deserve more nationally televised games and for their players to earn more accolades, since they’ve been continuously snubbed, these new rules could benefit them more than other squads around the league.
They’ll have a chance to turn the disrespect into an advantage.