Pacers given more respect from NBA fans after Game 1 of NBA Finals

After the Boston Celtics' defeat of the Dallas Mavericks in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, NBA fans are finally starting to realize just how good the Indiana Pacers are in hindsight.
Boston Celtics v Indiana Pacers - Game Four
Boston Celtics v Indiana Pacers - Game Four / Justin Casterline/GettyImages

It took a while for the Indiana Pacers to finally get their respect, but it seems that people are finally realizing how good they are after Game 1 of the NBA Finals.

While Indiana got eliminated by the Boston Celtics in a four-game sweep in the Eastern Conference Finals, they still gave Boston their biggest fight of the playoffs thus far. While the Pacers couldn't take a game off them, they played them very close in three out of the four games and basically had the game won in those three games before squandering all of their leads in the fourth quarter.

At the time of the Game 4 loss, public opinion on Indiana was mixed. Some fans saw them as a true threat to the top of the East if they played their cards right, noting that they played the Celtics closer than the Heat or Cavaliers in the first round. Others, including most Milwaukee Bucks and New York Knicks fans, saw Indiana as a team that caught lightning in a bottle once and would never rise to those heights again in a fully healthy East.

Following Game 1 of the NBA Finals and the Boston Celtics' 107-89 victory over the Dallas Mavericks, public opinion on the Pacers started to sway more in their favor. Specifically, people began to notice how Indiana's unpredictable, fast-paced offense gave Boston far more trouble than Dallas' Luka-first offense, at least after the first game.

It took another team to prove their point, but it seems that Indiana is finally getting the respect they deserve, although in defeat. Of course, this is nothing new to Pacers fans, as they have been singing their team's praises all season and playoffs, as well as dispelling any talks of them being a 'fluke' team, but it's nice to see the rest of the world find out how good they are in hindsight.

With infinitely more eyes on them come the start of the 2024-25 regular season, Indiana must capitalize on their newfound attention and improve on their previous campaign, especially in the playoffs. Fans and haters alike will be tuning in to Pacers basketball more than ever this coming season, and it is up to Tyrese Haliburton and company to give them something worth tuning in for.


Pacers fans knew it from the start, and now the rest of the world is finally catching on to what the 'little team' in Indiana is building.