Indiana Pacers Stats

The Indiana Pacers have been in existence since 1967 when they joined the American Basketball Association and won three championships before becoming one of four teams from the league to join the NBA in 1976. Indiana is still looking for its first NBA title, but the Pacers are a consistent playoff team that has had some very successful seasons over the years.

The current team is coming off its first non-playoff season in six years and has a familiar face taking over as head coach, as Rick Carlisle has returned after coaching the team in the mid-2000s. The NBA team is hoping the change on the bench will help the current roster get back to the postseason, as well as have some success once it gets there.

Indiana Pacers Standings

The Indiana Pacers’ journey through the NBA seasons has been a testament to their resilience and adaptability. Regardless of the ups and downs, the team has consistently shown an ability to bounce back and reinvent itself. This resilience is not just evident in their playoff appearances but also in how they navigate through seasons of rebuilding and transition. The Pacers’ standings over the years reflect their commitment to maintaining a competitive edge, even in the face of challenges.

One of the key aspects of the Pacers’ success in the standings has been their ability to develop and nurture talent. From homegrown talents to strategically acquired players, the Pacers have a knack for bringing out the best in their roster. This ability to maximize player potential not only contributes to their standings but also ensures that the team remains a formidable opponent in the NBA. As a franchise, the Indiana Pacers embody the spirit of perseverance, constantly striving to improve and make a significant impact in the league.

Indiana Pacers History

The Indiana Pacers were one of only two teams in ABA history to play every season in the league’s nine-year existence. Indiana won ABA titles in 1969-70, 1971-72 and 1972-73 and appeared in the ABA Finals two other seasons. Mel Daniels won league MVP honors twice, while George McGinnis won Finals MVP as well as regular-season honors in separate campaigns.

When the ABA merged with the NBA, the Pacers were one of the four teams that joined the larger league. Unfortunately, the move came with a lot of difficult years, with Indiana making the postseason just twice in its first 13 NBA campaigns. The addition of Reggie Miller in the 1987 NBA Draft started the team’s ascension to title contender, and the Pacers made the postseason in four straight seasons from 1989-90 to 1992-93.

The 1993-94 campaign was a turnaround season for Indiana, as it not only earned its first-ever playoff series victory but advanced to the Eastern Conference finals before falling to the New York Knicks in seven games. Another seven-game loss in the conference finals followed the next season, and the Pacers lost in the conference finals in 1998 and 1999 as well.

The only NBA Finals appearance in franchise history came in the 1999-2000 season, though the Pacers fell in six games to the Los Angeles Lakers in the championship series. Another trip to the conference finals in 2004 resulted in a loss to the Detroit Pistons and set the stage for a black eye on the franchise and league the following season.

On Nov. 19, 2004, the Pacers were beating the Pistons on the road when a melee broke out late in the game, with Indiana players Ron Artest and Stephen Jackson going into the stands and fighting with fans. Artest was suspended for the rest of the season, Jackson earned a 30-game suspension and Jermaine O’Neal was penalized for 25 games. A potential championship contender was derailed by the incident in Miller’s final season in the NBA.

The Pacers have made two conference finals appearances since then (2013 and 2014) but have yet to advance back to the NBA Finals. The 2014 playoffs is the last time Indiana has won a postseason series.

Indiana Pacers Championships

The Pacers have yet to win an NBA championship, but the franchise does have three league titles from its nine seasons in the ABA. The first title came in just the third season of existence for the franchise, as the Pacers defeated the Los Angeles Stars in six games for the 1969-70 title. Roger Brown earned MVP honors for the ABA playoffs that season.

Indiana returned to the ABA Finals in 1972, defeating the New York Nets in six games for a second league title, with Freddie Lewis earning playoff MVP honors. The franchise repeated as ABA champs the next season, with George McGinnis being named playoff MVP after the Pacers’ seven-game series win over the Kentucky Colonels in the finals.

The Pacers have won the Eastern Conference crown once in their time in the NBA, winning in the 2000 Eastern Conference finals over the New York Knicks to earn their only trip to the NBA Finals in franchise history. Indiana has won six Central Division titles, with each coming since the 1994-95 campaign.

Important Team Events

The biggest event in Pacers franchise history was likely the drafting of a skinny guard out of UCLA with the 11th selection in the 1987 NBA Draft. Reggie Miller brought a swagger to the NBA as well as a sweet shooting touch that helped push the Pacers to new heights in the NBA. Miller retired after 18 seasons with the team as the NBA’s all-time three-point shooter (since broken by Ray Allen and Stephen Curry) and the franchise’s all-time leading scorer.

The Pacers were one of the most successful franchises in ABA history, so it made sense that they would be included when the league merged with the NBA prior to the 1976-77 season. The early years in the new league weren’t easy for the Pacers, as they failed to make the playoffs for the first four seasons and didn’t win a playoff series for 18 seasons, but being included in the merger was obviously worth the postseason drought.

The 2004-05 Pacers squad looked like it had the potential to win the franchise’s first NBA title in Miller’s final season in the league. Unfortunately, the “Malice in the Palace” ended those hopes, as Ron Artest and Stephen Jackson ventured into the stands during an on-court melee and fought with fans, earning long suspensions that undercut the team’s hopes of title contention.

Indiana Pacer Top Players

Reggie Miller not only could score with the best guards in the NBA, but he also brought a confidence matched by few in the league. His 18 seasons with the Pacers brought five All-Star appearances, three third-team All-NBA honors and a place on the NBA’s 75th Anniversary team. Miller helped Indiana to its only NBA Finals appearance and finished his Pacers career as the team’s all-time leader in scoring, games played, free throws, three-pointers, steals and assists.

Center Rik Smits was the No. 2 pick in the 1998 NBA Draft and ended up earning All-Rookie first-team honors as well as an All-Star appearance in 1998. Smits was an anchor in the middle of the Pacers’ playoff teams over his 12-year NBA career, and he retired as the second-leading scorer and third-leading rebounder in franchise history.

Mel Daniels spent six seasons in the pivot for the Pacers during their ABA days, winning the league’s Most Valuable Player award twice while playing for Indiana. Daniels was a member of all three of the Pacers’ ABA championship squads and is still the franchise leader in total rebounds and rebounds per game (16.0).

Top Coaches

Bobby “Slick” Leonard spent 12 seasons as the Pacers’ head coach starting in 1968-69 and led the team to its three ABA titles before transitioning with the squad to the NBA in 1976. Leonard’s 529 regular-season wins and 69 playoff victories are both more than double the men at second place on the franchise’s all-time list, and he took Indiana to the ABA’s championship series five times.

Larry Brown was only the Pacers’ coach for four seasons, but he ranks third on the team’s regular-season coaching victories list. Indiana advanced to the Eastern Conference finals for the first time in 1994 under Brown, then repeated the feat the next season, losing in seven games each time.

Known mostly for his NBA playing career, Larry Bird was regarded as one of the NBA’s top head coaches during his time on the Pacers sideline, earning Coach of the Year in 1997-98 after leading the team to the Eastern Conference finals in his first season. Bird was at the helm when the Pacers finally broke through and made the NBA Finals for the first time in 2000, and his three-year playoff record of 32-20 is easily the highest postseason winning percentage in franchise history. If you love sports and want more sports betting information follow us as @InsidersBetDig on Twitter and sign up to our mailing list for free betting picks.

Indiana Pacers FAQs

Reggie Miller scored 25,279 points during his 18 seasons with the Indiana Pacers, the most in franchise history.

Chuck Person is the only Pacers player to win the NBA Rookie of the Year award, earning the honors in 1986-87.

The Pacers have only made the NBA Finals once, losing to the Los Angeles Lakers in six games in 2000.

Bobby “Slick” Leonard won 529 regular-season games as the head coach of the Pacers from 1968-69 to 1979-80.

Two players have won the NBA’s Coach of the Year while coaching the Pacers: Jack McKinney (1980-81) and Larry Bird (1997-98).

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