Whether it be post-Brawl or the general early 2000s NBA malaise, it appeared that pro basketball had somewhat fallen out of favor with most fans. The Pacers' three-year run of mediocrity following the dissolution of the team that made deep playoff runs from 2012-14 didn't help, either.
However, this new group, with some many new things - players, uniform, court, etc. - seems to have Indiana fans invigorated again. Are you among them?
We're going to discuss it later on the show, but I jotted down some reasons I believe the Pacers are fun to watch again:
They’re likable: Polarizing figures like Paul George, George Hill, and Roy Hibbert are gone. Fans are getting to know and embrace (at least initially) newcomers like Victor Oladipo, Domas Sabonis, and T.J. Leaf.
They play hard: Not that the previous group didn't, but you can see the fire with this group. A lot of that is due to the fact that everyone on this team is either a) new or b) has an expanded role to fulfill.
They’re fresh: Let's face it - the Pacers desperately needed some sprucing up. Whether or not you like the uniforms and floor, the change was refreshing after the previous decade-long look/brand had become stale.
There’s no pressure: If the Pacers win 25 games? Great. 35? Great. 45? Great! There is no expectation with this team, so there's really no disappointment to dread.
They’re playing a fun style: Finally, this team has the personnel to run! They're #5 in overall pace and #3 in offensive efficiency through six games. That means no more grind-it-out, hard-to-watch defensive ugliness of the Frank Vogel era (it was effective at times, but boring).
They’re not just floating along: Unlike the pro football team in town, the Pacers identified that they needed to hit the reset button. Instead of trying to rebuild on the fly and languish in mediocrity, they hit the reset button in all areas. That was 100% the right decision.
Give your take on the new-look Pacers on our Fox Sports 97.5 Facebook page and tune in today between 3-7p for the show!