The Indiana Pacers overview are an American professional basketball team based in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Pacers compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member club of the league’s Eastern Conference Central Division.
The team plays its home games at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, which they share with the women’s basketball team Indiana Fever and the indoor football team Indianapolis Fuel. Where does the pacers play? The Pacers began to play in 1967 as members of the American Basketball Association (ABA), where they won three championships, all of which occurred while they were based in Indianapolis.
Since joining the NBA in 1976, the Pacers have won seven conference titles and two Eastern Conference championships. They have played in the NBA Finals four times, winning in 1970 and losing in 2000, 1995, and 2004. The Pacers have won 19 division titles and qualified for the playoffs 32 times.
Indiana Pacers Overview
Indiana Pacers is an American professional basketball club headquartered in Indianapolis that competes in the National Basketball Association’s Eastern Conference (NBA). The Pacers won three league titles while competing in the American Basketball Association (ABA) (1970, 1972, 1973).
The Pacers were created in 1967 as one of the initial members of the ABA, with the moniker “Pacers” honoring Indiana’s home of the Indianapolis 500 and the state’s long tradition of harness racing. The Pacers, led by forward Roger Brown, one of the nascent league’s first superstars, and center Mel Daniels and coached by Bob (“Slick”) Leonard (1968-80), lost in the ABA finals in their second season but won the title the following year.
The Pacers signed forward George McGinnis in 1971 and went on to win two straight championships in 1971-72 and 1972-73. The club entered the NBA in 1976, along with three other ABA franchises, having never missed the playoffs in its nine seasons in the fledgling league.
Initially, the Pacers were far less successful in the NBA, with only one winning season in their first 13 seasons. The Pacers picked shooting guard Reggie Miller in 1987, and he went on to become the Pacers’ career scoring leader. Miller was joined on the squad in 1988 by center Rik Smits, and Indiana began a string of seven consecutive postseason appearances in 1989-90. The club reached the conference finals in 1993-94 and 1994-95 but lost in seven games each time.
After missing the playoffs in 1995-96, the Pacers advanced to the conference finals the following season under first-year head coach Larry Bird. Still, they were defeated in another seven-game series by the eventual champion Chicago Bulls. Only to lose, Indiana reached the Eastern Conference finals for the fourth time in six years in 1998-99.
After overcoming their regular playoff nemesis, the New York Knicks, in the conference finals, the Pacers finally made it to the NBA finals in 1999-2000. However, the Pacers were defeated in six games by the Los Angeles Lakers, denying them their first NBA championship. Following the season, the Pacers had significant personnel upheaval, including Smits and Bird’s retirements and a trade for teenage player Jermaine O’Neal.
From 2000-01 through 2004-05, O’Neal and Miller led the squad to five consecutive playoff appearances, including another loss in the Eastern Conference finals. Following Miller’s retirement in 2005, Indiana had one more postseason trip (a first-round loss in 2005-06) before embarking on a rebuilding effort that led to a playoff comeback in 2010-11.
In 2012-13, a youthful Pacers team led by All-Star forward Paul George and center Roy Hibbert reached the conference finals, where the Miami Heat defeated Indiana in seven games. In 2013-14, the Pacers started 16-1 and finished with the best record in the Eastern Conference.
However, the club struggled down the stretch of the regular season. After edging a 38-44 Atlanta Hawks squad in a seven-game opening playoff series, the Pacers advanced to the conference finals, where the Heat ousted them.
George injured his leg the following offseason, and the Pacers missed the playoffs while losing their best player for most of the 2014-15 season. Indiana bounced back to make the playoffs in 2015-16 but fell in a seven-game series in the first round.
The next year, the club was swept in the first round of the playoffs by the reigning champion Cleveland Cavaliers, who won by the smallest total point difference for a four-game playoff series (16 points) in NBA history.
During the offseason, George was moved to the Oklahoma City Thunder. In 2017-18, a rebuilt Pacers standings shockingly improved on the previous season’s record before losing a seven-game series to the Cavaliers in the first round of the playoffs. Despite losing star guard Victor Oladipo to a season-ending injury in January 2019, the Pacers recovered to make the playoffs for the second consecutive season in 2018-19.
- Read more: Cleveland Cavaliers Overview
Logos And Uniforms
The colors of the Indiana Pacers are (navy) blue, yellow (gold), cool gray, and white.
The initial team colors of blue and yellow basketball team, with a more medium shade of blue, were inspired by the Indiana State Flag. The Pacers dress in their traditional white home uniform with blue and yellow accents. The color of their road uniform is blue with yellow trim.
They also have a third uniform that is yellow with blue trim and worn at home or on the road. They used the gold home kit with blue and white trim throughout the 1983 season. The Pacers used pinstripe clothes from 1997 until 2005.
One of their most recognizable uniforms, worn from 1990 to 1997 and the one that catapulted Reggie Miller to notoriety, was created by American track and field athlete Florence Griffith-Joyner and featured a contemporary typeset reminiscent of Helvetica. Pacers supporters affectionately called the jerseys “Flo-Jos.”
The Indiana Pacers debuted their new clothes on September 29, 2005.
In conjunction with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) Studios, the Indiana Pacers introduced a new uniform based on the 1986 film Hoosiers on July 21, 2015. During the 2015-16 season, the Pacers wore these maroon and gold “Hickory” jerseys (the name and colors of the fictitious High School from the film) for many home games and a few select road Pacers last game. It is the first time a major North American professional sports team has worn a uniform inspired by a film.
On July 28, 2017, the Indiana Pacers announced new jerseys and logos to align with the NBA’s uniform deal with Nike.
Indiana State Fairgrounds Coliseum (1967–1974)
From 1967 through 1974, the Pacers played in the Indiana State Fairgrounds Coliseum. The Pacers were tremendously successful in the Coliseum, winning three ABA Championships during their time there. They won the ABA championships in 1969-70, defeating the Los Angeles Stars in six games, 1971-72, the New York Nets in six games, and 1972-73, defeating the Kentucky Colonels in seven games.
In 1974, the team relocated to Market Square Arena. When the ABA joined the NBA in 1976, the Pacers became a National Basketball Association (NBA) team.
Market Square Arena (1974–1999)
From 1974 through 1999, Market Square Arena was the home of the Indiana Pacers. The first Pacers basketball game ever played in the stadium was a preseason game versus the Milwaukee Bucks, with 16,929 fans in attendance.
The Pacers fell in double overtime against the San Antonio Spurs on October 18, 1974, in front of 7,473 people in the arena’s debut regular-season ABA game. The Pacers won their debut game in Market Square Arena on October 23, defeating the St. Louis Spirits 122-107.
The Pacers’ 1974-75 season concluded with the ABA Finals, which were held in Market Square Arena and Freedom Hall versus their archrivals, the Kentucky Colonels. The Colonels beat the Pacers in that final series, claiming the ABA Championship in five games (4–1).
The Pacers defeated the Colonels 109-95 in their final home ABA game at Market Square Arena in 1975-76. (In the next game, Kentucky won by one point to win the series and advance, ending the Pacers’ ABA career.) After joining the NBA, the Pacers continued to play in Market Square Arena.
Michael Jordan returned to the Chicago Bulls following his initial retirement on March 19, 1995, in a defeat to the Pacers at Market Square Arena.
On October 23, 1999, the Pacers played their final game in Market Square Arena, a preseason exhibition game against the Utah Jazz.
Gainbridge Fieldhouse (1999–present)
Gainbridge Fieldhouse, originally opened in 1999, is where the Indiana Pacers play their home games. Gainbridge Fieldhouse is in the heart of downtown Indianapolis. The Capital Improvement Board, City of Indianapolis, Indiana, owns and operates it, and Ellerbe Becket Architects & Engineers broke ground on July 22, 1997. The arena, formerly known as Conseco Fieldhouse, opened on November 6, 1999.
On December 22, 2011, the arena was renamed Bankers Life Fieldhouse after a Conseco subsidiary. Gainbridge, an Indianapolis-based financial platform, sponsored the arena’s current name on September 27, 2021. It currently seats 18,165 for basketball games, down from the original 18,345 owing to removing bleacher seats at the south end in favor of adding the Legends premium club section.
Gainbridge Fieldhouse is also home to the Indiana Fever of the WNBA, owned by Herb Simon through Pacers Sports & Entertainment (PS&E). It hosted the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament and the NCAA Women’s Basketball Final Four in 2011. It also holds concerts and other activities.
The Fieldhouse is regarded as one of the top venues in the NBA, ranking first in the Sports Business Journal/Sports Business Daily Reader Survey.
New York Knicks
The Knicks and Pacers were perennial playoff teams in the 1990s. From 1993 through 2000, they played in the playoffs six times, fostering a rivalry exemplified by the animosity between Miller and notable Knick supporter Spike Lee. Miller compared the rivalry to the Hatfield-McCoy feud, and The New York Times called it “as explosive as any in the league” in 1998. The Knicks and Pacers played in the Eastern Conference Semifinals in 2013, with the Pacers winning 4-2.
The Pacers and Pistons first met in the 1990 Playoffs, when the Pistons defeated the Pacers in three straight games en route to their second consecutive NBA title. The rivalry, however, actually began in the 2003-04 season. The Pacers ended the season with a league-high 61 victories, led by Jermaine O’Neal, Ron Artest, and Reggie Miller and coached by Rick Carlisle.
Detroit dismissed Carlisle at the end of the previous season. Larry Brown coached the Detroit Pistons, headed by Chauncey Billups, Ben Wallace, Rasheed Wallace, Tayshaun Prince, and Richard Hamilton. Indiana won the first three regular-season meetings before falling to the Pistons in the final regular-season encounter at the Palace. That was also the first time the two met following Rasheed Wallace’s move to Detroit.
They met in the Eastern Conference Finals in 2004. Miller’s late heroics helped Indiana win Game 1 by a tight margin. During an interview before the second game, Rasheed declared, “They Will Not Win Game 2.” (locally known as the “Guaran-Sheed” victory).
Late in Game 2, Detroit was leading by two points when Billups turned the ball over, and Miller seemed to have an uncontested layup that would have tied the game. Before Miller could score, however, he was pursued by Prince, who dived from behind and stopped the attempt.
Near the conclusion of Game 6, when Detroit had a slim lead, Artest committed a flagrant foul on Hamilton, nearly causing a riot. Detroit won the series 4-2 and the NBA championship.
What became known as the Pacers-Pistons brawl occurred on November 19, 2004, at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Nine players were suspended for varying amounts of time. Artest was given the longest punishment of the season: the rest of the season.
Teams split the four regular-season encounters that year. They played in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, splitting the first two games. Despite blowing an 18-point lead, the Pacers won Game 3 in Indianapolis.
Like a year before, Rasheed vowed a win in Game 4, stating, “When we return, we will be tied at 2.” The Pistons won games 4 and 5. The Pacers battled hard, knowing that a loss would force Miller’s retirement, but were defeated by the Pistons 88-79.
With the club in the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2012 NBA playoffs, a recent rivalry with the Miami Heat was sparked. They previously met in the NBA playoffs in 2004. (when Indiana won 4–2). Udonis Haslem of the Heat is the lone remaining player from either club as of 2021.
Both head coaches were punished for comments about officiating: Frank Vogel accused the Heat of flopping before the game began, while Erik Spoelstra took issue with what he saw to be premeditated head-hunting of his players by the Pacers.
After Miami’s Chris Bosh was sidelined with an abdominal injury, Indiana seized a 2-1 lead. Miami won the series 4-2 with three straight wins led by LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.
Several suspensions, flagrant fouls, and player confrontations occurred during the series, including Tyler Hansbrough’s flagrant foul on Dwyane Wade (which drew blood), Udonis Haslem’s retaliatory flagrant foul on Hansborough (which led to Haslem’s Game 6 suspension), Wade colliding with Darren Collison in transition, Juwan Howard confronting Lance Stephenson over the latter’s flashing of the choke sign to James, and Dex (which led to his three-game suspension).
Danny Granger of Indiana received technical fouls in three consecutive games for his interactions with Heat players; he stripped James of his headband while attempting to block a shot in Game 2, pulled the back of James’ jersey in Game 3 while attempting to stop a fast break, and chest-bumped Wade in Game 4 after Roy Hibbert fouled the latter.
The next season saw both teams improve, with Miami’s acquisitions of Ray Allen and Chris Andersen and the emergence of Paul George and Lance Stephenson. Notably, the Heat’s 27-game winning run began after losing to the Pacers; the Heat’s previous two consecutive losses came against Indiana and Portland.
During the dying minutes of Game 6 of the Semifinals between the Pacers and the New York Knicks, Pacers supporters chanted “Beat The Heat” as their team defeated their old foes in New York. On May 22, 2013, the Heat and Pacers faced in the Conference Finals of the 2013 NBA playoffs, as is customary.
Several incidents of aggression emerged during the series: Shane Battier was called for an offensive foul for throwing his knee at Hibbert’s midriff; Hibbert believed it was a purposeful dirty play on Battier’s side. After colliding with David West, Andersen received a bleeding nose. Ian Mahinmi was flagged for a flagrant foul for grabbing James’ arm. Norris Cole tried to slide through West by latching a hand on his crotch.
Wade was given a flagrant retroactive penalty for striking Stephenson in the head, which the Pacers, particularly Paul George, saw as a dirty move. The Heat won Game 1 on a game-winning layup by James, while the Pacers tied the series at 1-1 after forcing James into two late fourth-quarter turnovers in Game 2. The Heat established a club record for most points in a postseason half with 70 in Game 3.
It was the Pacers’ first 70-point performance since 1992. Allen’s solitary turnover was the Heat’s lowest total in the first half. Their five total turnovers rank second in team history. The Game 3 win was the first time an NBA club has won five consecutive road games by double digits.
The Heat won 4-3, thanks to a 99-76 victory in game 7.
The Pacers and Heat rekindled their rivalry in 2014 when the Heat defeated the Pacers for the second time in a row in the East Finals. In the 2020 playoffs, Miami and Indiana would meet for the first time since 2014, with the Heat sweeping the Pacers in the first round.
The Pacers have had 13 different head coaches. Larry Staverman was the team’s initial coach while it was in the ABA in 1967. Coach Bobby Leonard has 529 victories in 12 seasons with the organization, the most in franchise history. Leonard was followed by Jack McKinney, George Irvine, and Dr. Jack Ramsay.
When Ramsay unexpectedly quit in 1988 after the club had a disastrous start, Pacers icon Mel Daniels took over for two games before Irvine returned for 20 more. Dick Versace coached the Pacers through another disappointing spell until Bob Hill guided them back into the playoffs and contention.
Larry Brown then acquired the Pacers’ franchise in 1993. He guided the club to several playoff appearances as Reggie Miller became a superstar and future Hall of Famer. Larry Bird was the team’s coach from 1997 to 2000. Bird led the Pacers to their one NBA Finals trip in 1999-2000.
The Pacers’ top coaches were Isiah Thomas, Rick Carlisle, and Jim O’Brien. Frank Vogel was the Pacers’ most recent head coach until May 5, 2016, when his contract was not renewed after the Pacers lost game 7 of the first round of the 2016 NBA playoffs to the Toronto Raptors. As a result, assistant head coach Nate McMillan was elevated to head coach.
McMillan and the franchise parted ways on August 26, 2020, only two weeks after the organization announced his re-signing, after four seasons in which he collected a 183-136 record. Nate Bjorkgren, a former Toronto Raptors assistant coach, was named the team’s next head coach on October 20, 2020. Bjorkgren led the Pacers to a 34-38 record in his lone season, and the club failed to make the playoffs. Rick Carlisle was re-hired as the Pacers’ head coach for a third time on June 24, 2021.
Player Stats – Scoring
|Malcolm Brogdon PG||36||36||33.5||19.1||243||543||44.8||58||186||31.2||143||167||85.6|
|Domantas Sabonis PF||47||46||34.7||18.9||331||571||58.0||35||108||32.4||191||258||74.0|
|Caris LeVert SG||39||39||31.1||18.7||278||622||44.7||61||189||32.3||111||146||76.0|
|Buddy Hield SG||26||26||35.6||18.2||181||405||44.7||80||221||36.2||31||35||88.6|
|Tyrese Haliburton SG||26||26||36.1||17.5||162||323||50.2||57||137||41.6||73||86||84.9|
|Jalen Smith C||22||4||24.7||13.4||113||213||53.1||31||83||37.3||38||50||76.0|
|Chris Duarte SG||55||39||28.0||13.1||268||621||43.2||94||255||36.9||90||112||80.4|
|Myles Turner C||42||42||29.4||12.9||200||393||50.9||61||183||33.3||79||105||75.2|
|Justin Holiday SF||49||40||28.9||11.0||190||458||41.5||127||336||37.8||34||41||82.9|
|Duane Washington Jr. PG||48||7||20.2||9.9||173||427||40.5||81||215||37.7||46||61||75.4|
|Terry Taylor SF||33||7||21.6||9.6||135||220||61.4||12||38||31.6||36||51||70.6|
|Lance Stephenson SG||40||1||18.6||9.3||142||310||45.8||27||87||31.0||62||78||79.5|
|Oshae Brissett SF||67||25||23.3||9.1||208||506||41.1||83||237||35.0||114||164||69.5|
|T.J. McConnell PG||27||8||24.1||8.5||100||208||48.1||10||33||30.3||19||23||82.6|
|Isaiah Jackson C||36||15||15.0||8.3||116||206||56.3||5||16||31.3||60||88||68.2|
|Tristan Thompson C||4||16.5||7.3||13||24||54.2||—||3||8||37.5|
|Jeremy Lamb SG||39||15.7||7.1||85||228||37.3||39||117||33.3||67||80||83.8|
|Goga Bitadze C||50||16||14.6||7.0||131||252||52.0||23||80||28.8||64||94||68.1|
|Justin Anderson SG||13||6||20.7||6.8||32||87||36.8||13||53||24.5||12||15||80.0|
|Torrey Craig SF||51||14||20.3||6.5||128||281||45.6||46||138||33.3||27||35||77.1|
|Kelan Martin SG||27||1||16.4||6.3||70||168||41.7||22||74||29.7||9||13||69.2|
|Keifer Sykes PG||32||11||17.7||5.6||69||190||36.3||27||90||30.0||15||17||88.2|
|Gabe York G||2||10.5||4.0||2||7||28.6||1||6||16.7||3||5||60.0|
|Brad Wanamaker PG||22||1||13.3||3.5||26||72||36.1||4||17||23.5||20||22||90.9|
|Ahmad Caver PG||1||1.0||2.0||1||1||100.0||—||—|
|Reggie Perry PF||1||10.0||2.0||1||1||100.0||—||—|
|Nate Hinton SG||2||1.0||0.0||1||0.0||—||—|
|DeJon Jarreau PG||1||1.0||0.0||—||—||—|
Indiana Pacer Roster
|1||Justin Anderson||SG||6-5||231||11/19/1993 (28)||4||Virginia|
|—||Hugo Besson||G||6-6||180||4/26/2001 (21)||R||—|
|88||Goga Bitadze||C||7-0||250||7/20/1999 (23)||3||—|
|37||Amida Brimah||C||6-10||230||2/11/1994 (28)||1||UConn|
|12||Oshae Brissett||SF||6-7||210||6/20/1998 (24)||3||Syracuse|
|—||Kendall Brown||F||6.7||205||5/11/2003 (19)||R||Baylor|
|3||Chris Duarte||SG||6-5||190||6/13/1997 (25)||1||Oregon|
|Tyrese Haliburton||SG||6.5||185||2/29/2000 (22)||2||Iowa St.|
|24||Buddy Hield||SG||6.4||220||12/17/1992 (29)||6||Oklahoma|
|14||Nate Hinton||SG||6.3||210||6/8/1999 (23)||2||Houston|
|23||Isaiah Jackson||C||6.10||205||1/10/2002 (20)||1||Kentucky|
|—||Benedict Mathurin||F||6.6||205||6/19/2002 (20)||R||Arizona|
|9||T.J. McConnell||PG||6.1||190||3/25/1992 (30)||7||Arizona|
|—||Andrew Nembhard||G||6.5||191||1/16/2000 (22)||R||Florida|
|26||Aaron Nesmith||SF||6-5||215||10/16/1999 (22)||2||Vanderbilt|
|25||Jalen Smith||C||6.10||215||3/16/2000 (22)||2||Maryland|
|13||Nik Stauskas||SG||6.6||205||10/7/1993 (28)||6||Michigan|
|6||Lance Stephenson||SG||6.6||230||9/5/1990 (31)||10||Cincinnati|
|21||Terry Taylor||SF||6.5||230||9/23/1999 (22)||1||Austin Peay|
|27||Daniel Theis||C||6.9||245||4/4/1992 (30)||5||—|
|33||Myles Turner||C||6.11||250||3/24/1996 (26)||7||Texas|
|—||Gabe York||G||6.3||184||8/2/1993 (29)||1||Arizona|
What are the Indiana Pacers championships known for?
The Pacers were regarded as an ABA dynasty, having won three championships and six conference crowns. The Pacers compete in the Eastern Conference and Central Division, and their home games are held at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. The Pacers have had some success in the NBA, most notably during Reggie Miller’s tenure.
How good are the Indiana Pacers?
The Pacers are the definition of average based on the most basic statistics – points scored and allowed. They average 107.4 points each game, placing them 15th out of 30 teams. They allow 106.4 points per game, which ranks them 15th.
Will the Pacers ever win a championship?
The owner of the Indiana Pacers won three ABA championships from 1968 to 1976, but none in the NBA.
Was the ABA Real?
With the American Basketball Association-National Basketball Association merger in 1976, the ABA ceased to exist, resulting in four ABA clubs entering the NBA and the debut of the 3-point shot in the NBA in 1979.
Why do Pacers jerseys say, Hickory?
Pacers will wear ‘Hoosiers’-themed uniforms and Hickory Pacers t-shirts.
That is certainly extremely remarkable to witness.” The Pacers announced on Tuesday that they would be wearing special Hickory Pacers jerseys commemorating the film associated with Indiana basketball.
After a disappointing end to last season, the Indiana Pacers are looking to bounce back in a big way. Led by superstar forward Paul George, the Pacers have one of the most talented rosters in the NBA.
They also have a new head coach in Nate McMillan, known for his defensive prowess. With a mix of young and experienced players, the Pacers should be a force to be reckoned with in the Eastern Conference. Thanks for reading this article.