Pacers Eager To Make Playoff Noise





HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – This isn’t exactly groundbreaking stuff from the Indiana Pacers.

They are using the tried-and-true method of “Nobody Believes In Us” to shine their own spotlight on themselves as they wrap up the franchise’s best regular season in years.

The Pacers have won six straight games, nine of their last 10 (against a very generous schedule) and have the No. 3 spot in the Eastern Conference standings on lockdown, and yet there is still hesitation from the basketball-loving public to buy into this team.

There would be no need for these commercials (like the one above) with Pacers’ boss Larry Bird asking for support if the home folks were convinced their blue-collar team was more than just another temporary feel good story (see also: the 76ers of Philadelphia). The trepidation belies the facts, though. The Pacers have given us every reason to believe they are indeed for real.

Look inside the 40 wins and start categorizing the wins in terms of quality and all of the prime suspects are there. The Thunder, Heat, Bulls, Lakers and reigning champion Mavericks have all been vanquished at least once. With no RPI to worry about in the NBA, we don’t normally concern ourselves with a weighted system of measuring wins and losses. But if that’s needed in the Pacers’ case, so be it.

The best part for us, though, is that the Pacers seem to have a firm grasp on the concept of earning their respect the hard way, the old-fashioned way … by making some serious noise in the playoffs.

Our main man Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star has more:

Ask who the hottest team in the league is and you’d probably guess one of the teams on that list. Despite owning the NBA’s fifth-best record (40-22), the Pacers are the team few people seem to talk about. National exposure has been minimal, with only one game televised by TNT, ABC or ESPN this season.

“We take it a little personal,” said forward Danny Granger, who leads the Pacers’ balanced scoring attack at 18.8 points a game. “But we’re a small market. A thing about being a small market is that you don’t get the national media coverage like some of the other teams.”

The only way for the Pacers to get the attention they believe they deserve?

“(Make) some noise in the playoffs,” Granger said.

That means advancing past the first round, then pushing Miami or Chicago, the likely second-round opponent, to at least six games, if not pulling off the upset.

“I think that they’ve got the necessary components,” Philadelphia 76ers coach Doug Collins said before the Pacers beat his team Tuesday. “There are a lot of teams that are not going to want to play them in the playoffs. If they can stay (the third seed) and win that first round, they’re going to be a tough out.”

A tough out this year and a group with the opportunity to be a playoff factor in the Eastern Conference for the foreseeable future, if they continue on their current trajectory.

The job Bird, Pacers GM David Morway and their staff has done should not be overlooked. They are the ones that recognized coach Frank Vogel was the right fit for this team, elevating the former assistant coach. They’re the ones who wooed ex-Lakers assistant coach Brian Shaw and convinced him to join Vogel’s staff rather than go elsewhere. And they’re the ones that put together this talented and deep roster, staying creative in how they pieced things together through the draft, free agency and timely trades over the past few seasons.

The roster is solid, two-deep at every position and even three-deep at a couple. Granger, David West, Darren Collison, George Hill, All-Star center Roy Hibbert and rising star Paul George lead an ensemble cast that doesn’t count a superstar among them but does boast an abundance of quality players.

With the memory of last season’s rugged first-round series against Chicago still fresh and the season-long reality that they can play with the best of the best, the Pacers have every right to feel confident going into this postseason. They have earned that much.

The respect and admiration of the public, well … they’ll have to make that playoff noise to get that!

73 Comments

  1. nbapacersfan says:

    The Indiana Pacers are going to shock the world…… stay tuned.

  2. Sharesau says:

    I know MIP will go to Jeremy Lin for playing a dozen good games but I think Roy Hibbert has a real case to put forward for Most Improved Player. Anyone who saw this guy play in his rookie season will see just how far he has come in a few years. He was shocking when he first started out despite having an outstanding college career. He has come along way, he was even an all star this year – voted in my opposing coaches, not fans.

  3. wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. matt321 says:

    im a pacer fan not chicago bostom r miami goin be ready
    …miami cant play half court,boston to old and slow,chicago boozer dissappear noah soft if rose not healthy ….pacers wiil talk them by surprise

  5. Ellis says:

    PAUL GEORGE!

  6. these playoffs are gonna be interesting mindofmattman.com

  7. The pacers are going to shake things up in the east….be careful with them

  8. Per says:

    The Pacers have had concistency and that has been the key for them. They have been the only consitent team exept for the Bobcats. In two years time they will be at their peak.

  9. natemx says:

    TIME TO MAKE SOME NOISE IN THE PLAYOFFS, GO PACERS!!
    When we get Daren Williams next year we will own the NBA !!!!

  10. Bok says:

    I hope the Pacers do well in the post season. They’ve worked hard and paid their dues. Now’s the time for them to show what the team’s all about. They may not be the favorite in the east or on their own division, but if opponents don’t pay attention or respect they’re very capable of butt kicking other teams. My picks are the Pacers, Thunder, T-Wolves and Sixers.

  11. NBAfan says:

    I JUST LOVE HOW THE PACERS ARE BUILT AND HOW THEY PLAY. They are the new 76ers!!!

    What do you expect from Larry Legend? He knows the game!

  12. Tanay says:

    I’m a Pacers fan from India (not Indiana!) and have seen this team mature consistently this season. It’s not just about momentum going into the playoffs, it’s about playing smart basketball and understanding your teammates’ strengths and preferences. I honestly do think we need that one star to actually WIN it all, but Granger has been playing like a star lately- and this team would not let a 2nd round series slip without a good hard fight. Without D12, the Magic should be taken care of.

  13. Esteban says:

    Forget the HATERS Let’s Go PACERS!!!

  14. Sam says:

    The Pacers have lacked the national attention this year that many lesser teams have enjoyed. But I’m really glad to see all the pro-Pacers comments, and the article that brought it all about. Thanks, Sekou.

  15. john bones jones says:

    Roy Hibbert is the man! Quiet but works hard! respect homes!

  16. eric august says:

    I don’t like this team at all. I don’t like Granger. It doesn’t matter.. they’ll go home in round 2.

    • Sam says:

      Eric, I clearly don’t share you’re viewpoint. But at least you self-identify as a hater and don’t make a fool out of yourself trying to make your case against the Pacers look like it’s based on facts. I can respect your comment.

  17. Chris says:

    Pacer Pride!

  18. jonski22 says:

    i love the Pacers when they got Miller, Smits, Davis Brother, Mckey, Mackie, Workman, M.Jackson…Shrempf…
    This current Pacer is good…but i guess it’s going to be hard for them to beat Chicago and the Heat.

  19. Cayden says:

    as an orlando fan, if dwight is ready for playoffs i see magic beating pacers in 6 , even without home court, that is if dwight is back, he will abuse hibbert

  20. Knickwits says:

    The Knicks smashed Indiana this season back to back obviously the Pacers aren’t a Chi-town or Heat just yet, maybe in a few years when George becomes a consistent Scorer.

    • Sam says:

      All you say is true, but let’s not forget who had the last laugh in the season series between the bad guys (Knicks) and the good guys (Pacers). Any way you can knock off the Heat in the first round so we can meet up in the second? I’d love an opportunity to make up for those stupid back-to-back losses.

  21. Reality Check says:

    Sorry guys going to have to disagree with the Pacers going deep into the playoffs.

    This team has been a bit lucky, they simply aren’t as good as they appear. And don’t try and compare them to Dallas last season, that Dallas team was playing on a much higher level than this team.

    You people are falling for the — hottest team — to enter the playoffs syndrome, happens every year and yet people never learn.

    Who was the hottest last year, don’t remember do you, it was the Bulls, yes the same Bulls talk about who almost lost in roun d 1 and struggled again in round 2.

    The hottest team entering the playoffs is a — BIG MYTH — perputrated by pundits whom don’t do much research, good luck with your Pacers cause your going to need lots of it !!!

    Not a hater just pointing out the facts.

  22. LaBaguetteCroustillante says:

    And If the Pacers create the sensation of this shortened season ?
    Try to figure it out : Rugged and rough team going underdog in the playoff with a super deep roster and some dirty workers like the 2004 PISTONS !
    Remember’em ? ;-)

  23. GSW15 says:

    i saw this team kill my warriors, but i hope they go far. it is impressive to see them go this far without high draft picks and overpayed superstars.

  24. PacersArea55 says:

    Pacers = dark horse of the 2012 Playoffs. don’t count us out because we don’t have an undisputed HOFer, or MVP. just because the Pacers don’t get the media coverage doesn’t mean they’re not good enough to go far in the playoffs

  25. Reality says:

    The pacers certainly deserve to make the playoffs, but their 3 seed looks better than they really are. The regular season is all about surviving injuries. The Celtics were devastated by injuries, the Magic were well ahead of pacers until Howard got injured, the Knicks have had all sorts of injuries too. I think the pacers are about the 6th best team in the east, certainly much worse than their 3rd seeding indicates. Indeed they were quite fortunate to have almost no serious injuries this year. They may well play orlando in 1st round, and get lucky there, because Howard may not play. In the 2nd round, they will probably play the heat, and be blown away. Not that I am a heat fan (i’m not), but its just reality.

    • Durrrrrrrrrr says:

      The magic were not well ahead of the pacers just so you know and they were falling off with D12 in the game and the injuries are major excuses for the knicks

  26. Nowitzsskii says:

    LOL your PF is way average boozer and your C has no offense. This team was build with Lack of training camp. Are you scared my friend? If they beat Miami in the 2nd round definetly bulls too in the E.finals. R.Hibbert is still young and have a potential to be a great C. Dont be a hater dude this is basketball every team has a chance to win a championship. Look at my MAVS last year. Nobody believe but look we won a Ring. If you know basketball is not having a tons of superstar or overrated players. Having this roster is scary for the future of this league. Pacers will Dominate the east in upcoming years sorry my friend.

    • Sam says:

      I’m a big Pacers fan, and I hope you’re right. Your Mavs do have a true superstar, however. Heck, I think you’ve named yourself after him.

  27. Nowitzsskii says:

    Pacers was build through lockout with lack of training camp. They build their own Chemistry they believe and now one of the best team in the nba. Imagine if their was no lockout with complete set of training they can own the East. D.West is the best move they got in the lockout. add G.hill and L.Barbosa most of their roster can score 20+ in the game. Their starting 5 is like having miami’s big 3. This year they have a great chance to get the ring. And next year they can own the east. Hibbert and West is if they sync their game they can own the paint. Specially george development. This roster should keep 5-6 years cause i believe they can win a championship. Im a mavs fan but seeing their future and this talented roster they can win BIG.

  28. elvan says:

    I agree! Indiana is the team to avoid to get to the Eastern finals. Whoever faces them will be in danger of either losing, or too worn out to win the finals.

  29. Reshy P says:

    Indiana’s been my favourite team for 14 years now. I’ve watched them go from Reggie, to Jermaine, to Danny, and now to Danny + 7-8 other guys that constitute the best all-around team in the NBA. I wouldn’t be surprised if we’re leading the NBA in most double-digit scorers per game. We don’t have a Big Three, or a Big Two, and I’m happy about that. I’m glad we don’t go out on the trade block and play “auction” for players from the West who want a ring. This is a young team with enough veteran leadership in West, Granger, and GHill that will take them far in the playoffs, regardless of their opponent. Keep talking them down all you want, NBA fans.

  30. MYU says:

    Yeah, the heat is gonna loose in 5th game of the second round and Lakers don’t play them in the second round because they are a western team so…why can’t you people accept that there gonna be the next NBA CHAMPIONS! and guess whose gonna be the MVP?? that’s right TYLER HANSBROUGH!! BOYAAA!!! huhuhuhu you can’t beat me cos I’m just a comment! :p

  31. vamos a la playa says:

    they have good chances if they will get orlando in the first round.
    howard is injured and roy hibbert has a solid repertoire in the paint, enough variety to create extra problems to glen “big baby” davis, who isn’t even e center but just an undersized PF.
    hibbert vs glen davis: key to win the series.
    guarding a guy like granger could be a nightmare.

    indiana in 6 games vs orlando.

  32. Danny says:

    This team is VERY talented. They have had a good schedule but yet theyve beat all the top teams. This team is only getting better and are good at closing out close games. It should be a great playoffs. Go Pacers! Shock the world!

    • Sam says:

      What makes you say the Pacers have had a favorable schedule? The NBA isn’t like college, man. Even in this shortened season, everyone plays everyone, so how does anyone have an easier schedule than anyone else?

      The Pacers are now 19 games above .500, with a solid winning record on the road (19-14). Their current hot streak IS due largely to an easy schedule (lots of cupcakes at home), but they had one of the most difficult starts in the league, with their schedule extremely road-heavy (17 of 26 on the road). They got off to a fast start, cooled off a little during the middle of the season, and are finishing the season very strongly with a lot of momentum going into the playoffs. They will probably win their first round series and play Miami in the second round. No doubt, they’re underdogs in that series; but with their ability to win on the road that they’ve shown this season, they’re capable of knocking off the Heat. I think that’s the only way they’ll get a rematch with the Bulls, which is what I’d really like to see.

  33. Bulls 2012 says:

    The Pacers, im sorry to say, have no chance of winning a title in the near future..!!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME With the Bulls, Heat, and Up and coming knick team(whom i think i better than the pacers).The pacers have a average center in roy hibbert, and a has-been power forward in West..Danny Granger I respect but not even close to the talent of an elite player like Drose, Durant, Prince James, and Ill even throw in Westbrook…Collins who is an average point guard..AT BEST THE PACERS ARE AN AVERAGE TO ABOVE AVERAGE TEAM..They are not an elite team like Miami, Chicago, OKC, and Spurs….THERS A BIG GAP BETWEEN CHICAGO, MAMI and Pacers…

    WELL SEE IN THE PLAYOFFS IF THE PACERS WILL DANCE ON OUR HOME COURT AGAIN!!!!

    leggo Bulls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 2012 champs

    • S says:

      Nice comment Bulls 2012, way to rep Chicago’s fan base.

    • the pacers are not an elite team but last year the only reason the bulls beat the pacers is because rose but if rose is out this year the pacers will beat them

    • lol? says:

      haha chiacgo chicago chicago having a faimly that is half from there we get your hate ALOT. but if you think hibbert is average your high. if you think west is a hasbeen your ignorant of the pacers record last year compared to this years. and just because we prolly cant beat the heat,bulls (without rose without you have no chance ever) thunder, doesnt meen we are just average you dont get the third seed in the east from being average bulls fans need to stop being so but hurt about indy beating you guys in the suber bowl and understand the pacers are a rlly good team (not elite) and almost beat you guys in EVERY game last year except for game 6

    • Xire silver says:

      The bulls eh? Wouldn’t that be a dream matchup, Pacers vs Bulls 2nd round Eastern Conference Playoffs, We took em to 5 close games, we was young, but this year, we got another year under our belts, David West, and teamwork playing basketball. GO PACERS!

  34. hugle123 says:

    Com certeza o Indiana dará muito trabalho nos Playoffs. Que venha o Heat na semifinal, acredito que ganhar a conferência Leste não é tão impossível quanto se imaginam.

  35. Jon_Lee_ Will87 says:

    Ive been a Pacer Fan since The Reggie Miller, Rick Smits and Mark Jackson Days. And this Pacer squad has just as much promise as anyone Ive seen. I love what Larry Bird has done. He took his time, and composed a team that will be able to compete for a title. If not this year, then starting next season.

  36. Firetrot says:

    The Pacers are FOR REAL. They really are. They have a balanced attack of six or seven guys that can really hurt you if you don’t shut them down. You can’t really argue with how they have played lately. Even though I am a huge fan, the Pacers can’t brag about how good they are until they win a playoff series. Sure they have beaten “Title Contenders” multiple times, but that doesn’t mean anything until they win a series. This is a team with a young roster who could be NBA champions in a few years. They still need to take that first step; winning a playoff series. GO PACERS.

  37. kobe says:

    pacers out in 2nd round

  38. PAKMANN says:

    Heat in 5 in the second round.

  39. Frank says:

    I watch the Pacers on internet and TV since Rick Smits (Eindhoven-Holland, my hometown) and Reggie played there. I’m confinced they are a team this year. I truely beleave in some miracles to happen! And miracles are not getting to the 2nd round of play offs!

  40. NYK FAN 4 LIFE says:

    The Pacers are the 3 seed!
    How can you not give them any credit?

  41. Damien says:

    I find it great that teams, I mean TRUE TEAMS, finally get what they deserve in the NBA : instead of crowding their rosters with stars, teams like San Antonio or Indiana build their reputation and wins on balanced attack and ball movement. Oldschool basketball. That’s what the game is supposed to be like. Same thing with Dallas last year, teamwork won Vs individual superstar power. Hope the Pacers, the Spurs (and even the Bulls) go far in the playoffs…

  42. Rafael Góren says:

    I´m from Brazil and i love Pacers! Nice work this year!

  43. Luke says:

    I think its hilarious that no one gives this team attention, no mention of them on Sportscenter, 1 National TV game ( while the 76ers have had about 15, and the Golden State Warriors and the Suns seem like they are on every night ) Its always New York, Boston, Miami, OKC, The Bulls, Lakers that get all of the attention, yet the Pacers have the 5th best record in the league and the Knicks are barley in the playoffs and people are saying there a title contender, but the Pacers get no mention, Hilarious!

  44. John Snow says:

    I love the Pacers. I am most definitely biased, but if the Pacers and there deep roster play their best, they can knock off some very good opponents, even the Miami Heat.

  45. Another Kevin says:

    It’s really impressive that they have put together a team this good without having to tank for high draft picks or be in a major market. They’ve done it the right way and deserve to be rewarded.

  46. Mike J. says:

    Even though Orlando was my team I’m hoping Indiana Pacers will be the ones to advance to the 2nd round, as they will give the Miami Heat a lot of problems. At the very least it’ll be a 6 game series that will tire the Superfriends out, hopefully enough to make them run out of steam for a meeting in the Conference Finals with Chicago/Boston.

    Indiana could take it all the way next year if they had another very solid big man for a 3-man rotation with Roy Hibbert and David West, in my opinion.

  47. DK says:

    The Pacers are one of the deepest teams in the league this year. Quite a few of the bench guys could easily be starters on other squads (George Hill, Leandro Barbosa). If the young guys on this team hold it together and play smart and Danny Granger keeps knocking down big shots, the Pacers are going to make a deep playoff run. There are not many teams that are a “bad match up” for them.

  48. Pacers Rock says:

    Watch out for the Pacers, they are going to go farther than everyone things….just sayin

  49. Xire Skinner says:

    As far as i’m concerned, if they keep this core, I can see em winning a championship in the next few years. If he keeps develeoping, I also see Paul George as a MVP candidate, or even big Roy! lol, Paul George is indeed my favorite player in the nba right now, and I enjoy playing alongside him with my pf in nba 2k12. GO PACERS!

  50. Keith Lewis says:

    Love this Pacers team and I can’t wait to see what they can do this year in the playiffs. Go Pacers!

  51. the pacers are not my favorite team but i do like them and i am very excited about seeing what they can do in the playoffs go pacers

  52. Bryan says:

    We are doing this with a roster full of middle 1st round picks. Not a Roster full of top 7 picks i.e. Thunder, Heat, Bulls, Lakers. thats what make our team even more impressive a true “team”. We won’t win a Championship this year but we aren’t as far off as one may think. Let’s Go Pacers!!!!!!