I love the Pacers. They are my team and I have been a fan through the 80s (as a kid), the Miller times, the Artest times, and even the nice guys that don’t win times (here’s looking at you Mike Dunleavy and company). The Miller years were fun. They never won a championship, but they played hard and always seemed to be the thorn in someone’s side. Many times being the 2nd best team in the league, unfortunately the East, at the time, seemed to have the number one team in the league stopping the Pacers from reaching the finals. When they finally did break through, the Kobe/Shaq Lakers were in the finals (thus the balance tipping from the East to the West as the dominate conference).
Last year the Pacers, and roughly this core group of guys, came through and ruffled the feathers of the Eastern conference. Taking that next step towards a championship. They played hard, fought through adversity, and had the Heat on the ropes. It was a hard fought series where the Pacers flexed their muscle, and showed that they belong on the biggest stage. Ultimately experience flourished and the Pacers went home minutes early from heading to the NBA championship for only the second time in franchise history… unfortunately that would be the last time the Pacers defined the qualities it took to win.
This season; however, they have shown their true colors. They are an immature team who decides saying idiotic things to the media about getting in the head of LeBron is more important than playing hard on the court. Blaming officials is the easy out. Why not point the finger where the blame is deserved… at themselves, the players and their inability to play hard the entire game. The fans are the ones that should be caught up in the nonsense of officials and conspiracy theories and making internet memes… not the players. They have more important things to do… like win a game.
For the record, the NBA has been hyping this match up all season long. I highly doubt they are looking for an Indiana early exit, no matter who they want in the Finals. Conspiracy Theory debunked!