1976/77: In their first season in the NBA the Pacers struggled finishing in fifth place in the Midwest Division with a record of 36-46. Giving Pacers fans reason to cheer was Billy Knight who finished second in the NBA in scoring with 26.6 ppg and Don Buse who led the NBA in steals and assists. Following the season the Pacers would trade away their two All-Stars, trading Knight to the Buffalo Braves for Adrian Dantley and Mike Bantom, and Buse to the Phoenix Suns for Ricky Sobers.
1977/78: For a while it looked as if the Pacers would not ever take the floor for their second NBA season as they struggled with the $3 million dollar entry fee, and the money paid to the other three ABA teams that folded, as per their agreement to join the NBA. To help the Pacers stay in business local business leaders contributed $100,000, while WTTV (Channel 4), which aired the Pacers games, held a telethon to sell season tickets and get more money to keep the team afloat. Once the season started the Pacers would struggle as they traded their top two scorers Adrian Dantley and John Williamson in the middle of the season. The Pacers would go on to finish in a tie for fifth place with a record of 31-51.
1978/79: The Pacers lineup continued to change, as Dan Roundfield departed to the Atlanta Hawks via free agency and Billy Knight, who was playing for the Boston Celtics, was brought back at midseason in exchange for Rick Robey. With the changes the Pacers would finish in third place with a 38-44 record. Following the season the Pacers would be sold to California millionaire Sam Nassi.
1979/80: The Pacers tried to recapture some of their former glory by acquiring George McGinnis from the Denver Nuggets for Alex English and a first-round draft pick. However, McGinnis was well past his prime as the Pacers finished in fourth place in the Central Division with a record of 37-45. Meanwhile, English would go on to become one of the greatest offensive players of the era. The season would also mark the end of an era as Coach Bob Leonard, who had led the Pacers for 12 years is replaced by Jack McKinney.
1980/81: Under new Coach Jack McKinney the Pacers showed a new spark winning seven of their first ten games on the way to their first NBA Playoff berth with a record of 44-38. However, it would be a quick exit as they were beaten by the Philadelphia 76ers in two straight games.
1981/82: Coming off their first taste of playoffs in the NBA the Pacers got off to a solid start and appeared to be heading for the postseason again through most of the first half. However in the 2nd half of the season the Pacers simply fell apart willing just 10 of their final 40 games to finish in 4th place with a 35-47 record.
1982/83: The Pacers continued to struggle as they finished in last place with a woeful 20-62 record winning just 6 of their final 39 games, along the way drawing their smallest ever crowd 2,745 on February 16th against the Chicago Bulls. Following the season the Pacers would be sold to shopping center moguls Melvin and Herbert Simon.
1983/84: Newcomer Clark Kellogg, Pacers second consecutive draft pick out of Ohio State, was sensational, leading the squad in scoring (20.1 ppg) and rebounding (10.6 rpg), while finishing second in Rookie of the Year voting. However, the rest of the team simply lacked the talent to be competitive as the Pacers finished in last place with a record of 26-26.
1984/85: Under new Coach George Irvine the Pacers continued to struggle winning just three of their final 24 games for their second 60-loss season in three years at 22-60, which landed them in last place for third year in a row.
1985/86: The Pacers continued to struggle finishing in last place for the fourth year in a row with a record of 26-56. Following the season the Pacers would fire Coach George Irvine replacing him with Jack Ramsey who had a successful ten year reign leading the Portland Trail Blazers including winning a Championship in 1977.
1986/87: Under new Coach Jack Ramsey the Pacers would make a dramatic turnaround as they got off to a solid start and played steady basketball the entire season. The Pacers who were in playoff position most of the season would close out the season by winning ten of their final 16 games to make the playoffs with a 41-41 record. Along the way Chuck Person who led the team in scoring with 18.8 ppg was named Rookie of the Year. In the playoffs the Pacers would drop the first two games on the road to the Atlanta Hawks. Coming home to Indiana for Game 3 the Pacers would win their first NBA postseason game, but it was not enough as the Hawks took Game 4 to close out the series.
1987/88: With the 11th overall pick in the Draft, the Pacers chose scoring machine Reggie Miller, a guard from UCLA. Miller came from an athletic family: his sister, Cheryl, was once considered the dominant player in women’s college basketball, and his brother, Darrell, had been a catcher in Major League Baseball. Miller played sparingly as a rookie, backing up john Long and averaging 10.0 ppg. Despite the continued development of a solid nucleus the Pacers would miss the playoffs via tiebreaker with a record of 38-44.
1988/89: With the second pick in the draft the Pacers added 7’4″ Center Rik Smits from Marist. However, the Pacers would get off to a disastrous start winning just six of their first 29 games as Jack Ramsey resigned, after a 0-7 start. After George Irvine filled in an interim coach for 22 games the Pacers named Dick Versace as his replacement. However, it was too late to salvage the season, so the Pacers spent the rest of the year retooling for the future. Trading Wayman Tisdale and a draft pick to the Sacramento Kings for LaSalle Thompson and Randy Wittman, and Herb Williams to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for Detlef Schrempf and a second-round draft choice. The Pacers would go on to finish in last place with a 28-54 record.
1989/90: The Pacers would jump out of the gate fast winning 19 of their first 28 games as Reggie Miller had a breakout season averaging 24.6 ppg, while becoming the first Pacer in 13 years to play in the All-Star Game. The Pacers would go on to make the playoffs with a 42-40 record. However, they would make a quick exit as they were swept in three straight games by the Detroit Pistons.
1990/91: The Pacers would get off to a slow start as Coach Dick Versace is replaced by Bob Hill 25 games into the season. Under his replacement Bob Hill the Pacers would finish the season in strong fashion posting a 30-23 record of the final four months to make the playoffs with a 41-41 record. In the playoffs the Pacers would give the Boston Celtics al they could handle going the full five games before losing 124-121 on the historic Parquet in Boston. Helping to drive the Pacers to a fifth game was Chuck Person who averaged 26 ppg, while hitting 17 of 31 shots for three point rage.
1991/92: The Pacers continued to sit on the playoff bubble qualifying as the 7th seed with a mediocre 40-42 record. Facing the Boston Celtics for the 2nd straight season the Pacers were unable to find the same firepower as they were swept in 3 straight games. Following the season the Pacers would rework their roster trading Chuck Person to the Minnesota Timberwolves for point guard Pooh Richardson and forward Sam Mitchell.
1992/93: The Pacers continued to play mediocre basketball making the playoff again as the eighth seed while posting a 41-41 record. Along the way Detlef Schrempf made his first All-Star team averaging 19-1 ppg and 9.5 rpg. In the playoffs the Pacers would fall in four games to the New York Knicks. However with Rik Smits averaging 22.5 ppg and Reggie Miller 31.5 the Pacers managed to keep every game close. It would not be enough to save Coach Bob Hill’s job as he is replaced by Larry Brown following the season.
1993/94: The new regime running the Pacers would draw the fans ire days before the start of the season when Detlef Schrempf is traded to the Seattle Supersonics for Derrick McKey. While fans fumed the Pacers continued to play .500 ball until April. However, by winning their final 8 games the Pacers were able to grab the fifth seed posting a 47-35 record. In the playoff the Pacers continued their momentum stunning the Orlando Magic in three straight games for their first playoff series win since joining the NBA. The Pacers continued to burn rubber stunning the top seeded Atlanta Hawks in six games to reach the Eastern Conference Finals. Facing the heavily favored New York Knicks the Pacers dropped the first two games in New York. However, upon arriving home in Indiana the Pacers in front of a loud crowd starved for w inner roared back to win the next two games. In Game 5 Reggie Miller made his presence known as he exploded for 25 points in the 4th quarter, while mocking Knicks super fan Spike Lee. However, with a chance to close things out at home the Pacers let Game 6 get away as they were forced to return to the Madison Square Garden for Game 7 where the Knicks would oust the pesky Pacers.
1994/95: After their trip to the Eastern Conference Finals the Pacers added Mark Jackson to strengthen their weakness at point guard. The moved would pay off as the Pacers won their first division title since joining the NBA with a 52-30 record, as Rik Smits had a career year averaging 17.9 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. In the playoffs the Pacers would make quick work of the Atlanta Hawks sweeping them in three straight games to set up a rematch with New York Knicks. Since the Knicks had the better regular season record, they started the series in New York. Down six points with 16.4 seconds left the Pacers appeared to be heading for a loss in Game 1. However Reggie Miller would single handily stun the Knicks nailing a three pointer then stealing the inbounds pass and tying the game with another 3-pointerwith his nemesis Spike Lee on a few feet away. Miller would add two free throws to give the Pacer a stunning comeback win. After losing Game 2 the Pacers came home to Indiana to take a 3-1 series lead. However, the Knicks would bounce back winning at Market Square Arena to force a seventh game at MSG. However, this time the Pacers would emerge victorious as Patrick Ewing’s last second shot rimmed out giving the Pacers a one point win. In the Eastern Conference Finals for the second straight year the Pacers battled the Orlando Magic to a seventh game before losing in Orlando in a series in which the home team won all seven games.
1995/96: The Pacers remained a strong team posting a 52-30 record for the second straight season. However, with the return of Michael Jordan to the Chicago Bulls the Pacers finished 20 games out of first, although the Pacers could hold solace in the fact that they were the only team to beat the Bulls twice in a season in which they set a record for most win sin a season. As the playoffs approached the Pacers would be dealt another body blow as Reggie Miller fractured his eye socket in a collision during a late season game. Miller would not return until Game 5 of the Pacers first round series against the Atlanta Hawks However, even his 29 points were not enough as the Hawks needed the Pacers season with a two point victory.
1996/97: Injuries and sluggish play would hamper the Pacers all season as they missed the playoffs for the first time in eight years with a disappointing record of 39-43. Following the season Coach Larry Brown who won his 600th game during the season was forced to resign. Brown would be replaced by legendary Larry Bird, who had no coaching experience, but was a hero to the entire state coming out of the small farm town of French Lick, Indiana, and leading tiny Indiana State to the NCAA Finals in 1979 before a stellar Hall of Fame Career with Boston Celtics.
1997/98: Great players usually final as Coaches and most feared Larry Bird would fail with Pacers. However, Bird was just what the Pacers need as they rebound off their sluggish season to post a franchise best 58-24 record while finishing in second place, as assistant Coach Dick Harter helped the Pacers become one of the top defensive units in the NBA. In the playoffs the Pacers would make quick work of the Cleveland Cavalier and New York Knicks losing one game in each series to reach the Eastern Conference Finals. In the Eastern Finals the Pacers would battle the Chicago Bulls to two close games in Chicago but still came home down 0-2 in the series. As the series shifted to Indiana for Memorial Day Weekend the Pacers gave the fans of Indiana something to remember with two heart stopping wins including a Reggie Miller three point shot with 2.7 seconds left in Game 4. After the home team won each of the next two games the Pacers found themselves in Chicago for Game 7. The Pacers would battle the Bulls tooth and nail all game, before falling 88-83. The Bulls would go on to win their sixth title in eight years, surviving perhaps the toughest series during their dynasty.
1998/99: The Pacers would enter the season as heavy favorite as the Chicago Bulls were broken up by their management. However, for a while it looked as if the season would never take place as the NBA endured a 4-month lockout that wiped out half of the season. When the season got started the Pacers would not disappointing winning the Central Division with a solid 33-17 record. In the playoffs the Pacers would sweep the Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers to reach an Eastern Finals match up with New York Knicks. However the Knicks who were the eighth seed would stun the Pacers in six games to reach the NBA Finals.
1999/00: At the dawning of a new Millennium the Pacer began a new era by moving into the Conseco Field house after 25 year at Market Square Arena. The Pacers would get off to a mediocre start splitting their first 14 games. However the Pacers would put it together and post a solid 56-26 record that was good enough to win their second straight division title, along the way the Pacers won 25 straight at their new home. In the playoffs the Pacers were pushed to the limit by the Milwaukee Bucks surviving Game 5 by two points as Dale Davis pulled down a rebound off the Bucks desperation last second three-pointer. In the second round the Pacers would beat the Philadelphia 76ers in six games to set up a rematch with the New York Knicks in the Eastern Conference Finals. After splitting the first our games the Pacers took Game 5 at home and closed the series out in six games as Reggie Miller buried the Knicks with 34 points, as the Pacers finally reached the NBA Finals. However, in the finals the Pacers would find themselves overmatched as they lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in six games. Following Coach Larry Bird would choose not to renew his contract saying the daily grind of coaching was too much.
2000/01: To replace Larry Bird at Coach the Pacers selected another Hall of Famer with roots in Indiana Isaiah Thomas. However, he would enter with a far different team than the one that went to the Finals, as Rik Smits retired, Chris Mullin was released, Dale Davis was traded to the Portland Trailblazers for Jermaine O’Neal, and Mark Jackson signed a free agent deal with the Toronto Raptors. With so many new faces the Pacers struggled early, and barley made the playoffs with a record of 41-41, needing to win nine of their final 12 games to secure the eighth seed. In the playoffs the Pacers would get off to a flying start as Reggie Miller nailed a three pointer in the final seconds to stun the Philadelphia 76ers. However, the top seeded 76ers would rebound and win the next three games to take the series in four games.
2001/02: The Pacers struggling around .500 for most of the season the Pacers pulled of a blockbuster seven player trade with Chicago Bulls near the trade deadline. Sending Jalen Rose, Travis Best, and a second round pick to the Bulls for Brad Miller, Ron Artest, Kevin Ollie and Ron Mercer. The Pacers would go on to finish the season on a strong note winning their final five games to sneak into the playoffs as the eighth seed with a record of 42-40. In the playoffs the Pacers would battle the top seeded New Jersey Nets to a fifth game. Game 5 would become an instant classic as the game was tied at halftime after three quarters and after four quarters as Reggie Miller hit a desperation three point shot as time expired. Miller would continue to keep the Pacers in the game scoring 31 points as the game went to a second overtime. However, Reggie would foul out in the second overtime as the Nets pulled away on the way to the NBA finals.
2002/03: With the physical play of Jermaine O’Neal, Brad Miller, and Ron Artest the Pacers were one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference contending all season for the Central Division. However the volatile nature of Artest would sometimes prove to be a distraction as on court outburst and flagrant fouls got the Pacers star suspended several times. The Pacers would end up finishing two games behind the Detroit Pistons for first place with a solid record of 48-34. However, in the playoffs the Pacers would come up flat as they fell behind the Boston Celtics three games to one before being eliminated in six games. Following the season the Pacers would lose Brad Miller to free agency as he signed with the Sacramento Kings. However, they would be able to keep their young rising star Jermaine O’Neal. The off-season would also see the return of Larry Bird who took over day-to-day operations as team president. One of Bird’s first moves was to fire Coach Isiah Thomas whom he had a bitter rivalry within his playing days, replacing him with former Pacers assistant Rick Carlisle.
2003/04: The Pacers began the season with turmoil as Larry Bird the new heard of personnel fired Isiah Thomas and replaced him with Rick Carlisle a move that was unpopular among several players including Jermaine O’Neal who said he would have not resigned if he knew Thomas was getting fired. However, on the court once the season began the Pacers played well and with more defensive discipline as they posted a 14-3 record at the end of November. The strong start was the catalyst to a great season as the Pacers posted an NBA best 61-21 record. Leading the way was Jermaine O’Neal who averaged 20.1 PPG and 10.0 rebounds per game. Meanwhile Ron Artest played strong defense all season and was named the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year. In the playoffs the Pacers got off to a fast start as they swept the Boston Celtics in four straight games winning each game by at least 13 points. In the second Round it was more of the same as they beat the Miami Heat in the first two games at home by double digits. However, as the series shifted to Miami the Pacers struggled losing both as the Heat evened the series. As the series went back to Indiana the Pacers were recharged winning 94-83 to retake control of the series. They would go on to win the series in six games as Ron Artest hit several clutch shots and finished with 27 points to help the Pacers eliminate the Heat with a 73-70 victory. In the Eastern Conference Finals Coach Rick Carlisle faced his old team the Detroit Pistons who the Pacers battled for the best record in the East all season. The Pacers would get the jump in the series as Reggie Miller flashbacked to his clutch play of the past nailing a three point shot with 31 seconds left to give the Pacers a 78-74 win. However, in Game 2 the Pistons defense would stifle the Pacers as they lost at home 72-67. After losing Game 3 in Detroit the Pacers got revenge taking Game 4 on the road 83-68 to even the series. However with a chance to reestablish control of the series at home in Game 5 the Pacers struggled scoring just 65 points as the Pistons won 83-65. In Game 6 the Pacers offense would be shut down again as they lost 69-65 as the Pistons went on to the NBA Finals.
2004/05: The Pacers would get off to a solid start winning six of their first eight games going into an Eastern Conference Finals rematch with the Detroit Pistons on the road. In the game the Pacers would continue their strong play winning 97-82, but in the final seconds of the game Ron Artest would get into a shoving match with the Pistons Ben Wallace, which would lead to one of the ugliest scenes in NBA as Ron Artest ended up attacking a fan after being hit with a cup, the rest of the game would be not played as the Pacers fought off the crowd. The aftermath would see Artest suspended for the rest of the season while Stephan Jackson was suspended for 30 and Jermaine O’Neal for 25 games. Though O’Neal’s suspension was reduced to 15 games the Pistons struggled in their absence as they posted a 10-19 record in December and January. After the All-Star Break Jackson would return and O’Neal would return to full strength as the Pacers climbed out of a hole and back into playoff contention with a solid 8-4 February. The pacers continued to climb in March and April and would end up with the sixth seed in the East while finishing in third place in the Central Division with a 44-38 record. In the playoffs the Pacers would face the Boston Celtics after dropping Game 1 the Pacers would rebound with an 82-79 win, after splitting the next two games at home the Pacers would go into Boston and would win on the Celtics floor against 90-85 as Jermaine O’Neal recorded a double-double However, with a chance to close things out at home the Pacers would lose a heartbreaker in overtime 92-89. The Pacers would not be down long as they went onto Boston and won for third time on the Celtics court 97-80 to set up a rematch with the Pistons. After losing Game 1 in Detroit the Pacers would rebound to win the next two games. However, with a chance to take a 3-1 series lead the Pacers offense would hit a wall as they lost Game 4 by 13 points at home. The Pacers would not win another game as the Pistons went on to win the series in six games, as an era came to an end in Indiana as longtime Pacer Reggie Miller retired after 18 seasons.
2005/06: When the season began a returning Ron Artest posed on Sports Illustrated with team President Larry Bird trying to present a happy face for the upcoming season. Sports Illustrated even went as far to pick them to be the best team in the Eastern Conference and labeled them a title contender. However, when the season started Artest struggled, and the Pacers were playing only mediocre basketball at 12-7 on December 10th when Artest told the press the team would be better off without him. The Pacers must have agreed as they deactivated him while they sought a trade. It would take more than a month to find a taker of Artest as the Pacers struggled before dealing Artest to the Sacramento Kings on January 24th for Peja Stojakovic. The deal would not help much as the Pacers would continue to play mediocre basketball the rest of the season as they were part of mad scramble for the last three playoff spots in the East. Thanks to a strong finish in which they won five of their last six games the Pacers would finish at 41-41 earning the sixth seed. In the playoffs against the New Jersey Nets the Pacers would stay hot winning Game 1 on the road 90-88 as Anthony Johnson won the game with two clutch free throws with 0.9 seconds left. After the Nets rebounded to win Game 2 the Pacers took back control of the series with a solid 107-95 win at home as Jermaine O’Neal scored 37 points. However, with a chance to take a 3-1 series lead the Pacers suddenly went cold as the Nets won Game 4, and went on to win the next three games to win the series in six games. Following the season the Pacers would undergo a massive team overhaul as Peja Stojakovic is traded to the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets. The Pacers would also deal away Austin Croshere and Anthony Johnson in separate deals to the Dallas Mavericks while they worked out a deal to reacquire Al Harrington from the Atlanta Hawks.
2006/07: The return of Al Harrington looked to the best move the Pacers made as he was the team’s leading scorer early. However, the Pacers record only hovered around .500, as management started to focus on the future. With a 20-18 record the Pacers decided to trade Harrington again, as he was part of a multi-player blockbuster trade that sent Stephen Jackson, Sarunas Jasikevicius, and Josh Powell to the Golden State Warriors Troy Murphy, Mike Dunleavy, Jr., Ike Diogu, and Keith McLeod. The trade would have disastrous results for the Pacers, as team chemistry was lost, a fact complicated by the loss of Jermaine O’Neal and Marquis Daniels to injuries as the Pacers endured an 11-game losing streak, while posting a terrible 15-29 record after the trade, finishing in fourth place with a record of 35-47, as they missed the playoffs for the first time in a decade. Meanwhile the players sent to Golden State helped the Warriors end a 13 year playoff drought as they pulled off one of the biggest upsets in NBA history beating the Dallas Mavericks in the first round. Following the disappointing season, the Pacers would fire Coach Rick Carlisle and replace him with Jim O’Brien.
2007/08: After missing for the first time in a decade the Pacers entered the season hoping for a quick rebound. A 3-0 start gave the Pacers, some early hope, but it would be quickly erased as they lost their next six games. Such inconsistent play marked the Pacers for the next two months as they climbed back over .500 in December only to end with a four game losing streak and a 15-17 record. Things would not get much better in the New Year as a seven game losing streak into February saw their record drop to 19-30. With a month to go the Pacers sat at 25-41 with the playoff looking like a long shot. However, they would make a nice run and were alive for the last playoff spot until the final week of the season, but fell just a few games short with a record of 36-46. However, as the season the big news in Indiana was the departure of longtime General Manager, who ended 25 years of running the Pacers to rebuild the shattered New York Knicks. All of Walsh’s basketball-related duties were given to Pacers’ President Larry Bird. One of Bird’s first major moves was to move unhappy star Jermaine O’Neal, who was traded to the Toronto Raptors along with a second round pick, in exchange the Pacers got T.J. Ford, Rasho Nesterovic, Maceo Baston and the 17th pick in the draft.
2008/09: The Pacers entered the season clearly in a rebuilding mode, with a new front office and a new coach in Jim O’Brien and many changes to the roster. Jamal Tinsley was one Pacer that appeared to be on the way out as the season began, as he lost his starting Point Guard job to T.J. Ford. An unhappy Tinsley was told to stay away from all Pacer practices as the team sought to work out a trade. Upon not being able to deal him away, Jamal Tinsley demanded a buyout of the remainder of his contract and filed a grievance against the team. On the court the Pacers did not fare much better as they ended up posting a 36-46 record and finished in fourth place in the Central Division. Despite the struggles Danny Granger become the player to watch for the Pacers as he was named NBA’s Most Improved Player with a career high 25.8 ppg.
2009/10: Injuries were a big story for the Pacers as they lost both top draft pick Tyler Hansbrough and Center Jeff Foster for a long stretch during the season. Early in the season the Pacers had their ups and downs, starting the season with three straight losses before a five game winning streak. The Pacers would follow that up a terrible 1-10 stretch as they entered the New Year with an awful record of 9-22. Things would not get much better in 2010 as the Pacers were not a factor in the playoff chase as they posted a record of 32-50, while finishing in fourth place in the Central Division while missing the postseason for the fourth straight year. One lone bright spot for the Pacers was the continued development of Danny Granger into an All-Star, as he followed up his Most Improved Player by leading the Pacers with 24.1 ppg.
2010/11: The Pacers would have a busy off-season as they looked to build around Danny Granger and Roy Hibbert, moving picks in the draft to bring in five young players including Paul George, whom the Pacers took with the tenth overall pick. The Pacers also made a trade acquiring Darren Collison and swingman James Posey from the New Orleans Hornets in a four-team, five-player deal that saw Troy Murphy go to the New Jersey Nets. After splitting their first two games on the road, the Pacers had a successful home opener, beating the Philadelphia 76ers 99-86. The Pacers would hold a winning record in November, as they won seven and lost six, beating the Los Angeles Lakers on the road 95-92 along the way on November 28th, with Danny Granger leading the way, with 37 points. However, the next two months the Pacers would go into a tailspin, posting a 9-20 record in December and January as they won just one of 14 road games. On January 30th the Pacers would relieve Coach Jim O’Brien. Assistant Coach FranK Vogel would take over the remainder of the season, beating the Toronto Raptors in his first game. The Pacers would win seven of their first eight games under Vogel as they got back in the race for the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. At the trade deadline the Pacers had a deal in place to land O.J. Mayo from the Memphis Grizzlies. However, they were unable to submit the paperwork on time by the 3:00 pm deadline. Despite a six game losing streak and continued struggles on the road, the Pacers remained in the race for the postseason entering April. On April 1st the Pacers edged the Milwaukee Bucks 89-88, that win would be the difference as they beat out the Bucks by two games for the final playoff spot in the East, despite a subpar 37-45 record. In the playoffs against the Chicago Bulls, who had the best record in the NBA, the Pacers would play competitive basketball, but ended up losing each of the first three games six points or less as they held a lead in the fourth quarter in each game. The Pacers would finally breakthrough in Game 4, winning 89-84 as they held off a late Bulls charge. It would be their only win as the Bulls went on to close out the Pacers with a 116-89 blowout win in Game 5. Following the season, Frank Vogel would be given the full time coaching job, posting a 20-18 record and leading the Pacers to their first playoff berth in five years, after replacing Jim O’Brien.
2011/12: After making it into the playoffs for the first time in five years, the Pacers looked to take another step forward under Coach Frank Vogel. Looking to gain some depth at guard, the Pacers landed George Hill in a trade with the San Antonio Spurs for three draft picks. Starting the season at home the Pacers got off to a quick start, as they went 9-3 in their first 12 games after the season was delayed two months by a lockout. While they were not at the level of the Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls, the Pacers were in strong playoff position all season, as Roy Hibbert made his first All-Star Game, with 12.8 ppg, while leading the team with 8.8 rebounds per game. The Pacers leading scorer was Danny Granger who continued to develop into a star with 18.7 ppg. Also having strong seasons were David West and Paul George, who both average over 12.1 ppg. While the Pacers struggled in March, with an 8-9 record they finished the season strong winning 12 of their last 15 games as they grabbed the third seed in the East with a record of 42-24, as Larry Bird was named Executive of the Year.
2012 Playoffs: Facing the Orlando Magic in the first round, the Pacers got off to a slow start, as they struggled to find the basket in Game 1, going scoreless as the Magic won the game 81-77, with a game ending 11-0 run. The Pacers would bounce back with a big team effort, as Danny Granger, George Hill and David West each scored 18 points to lead the way in a 93-78 victory at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. As the series shifted to Orlando, the Pacers took control of the series with a solid 97-74 win. Behind a game high 26 point game from Danny Granger. With David West scoring 26 points, with 12 rebounds and George Hill closing the game with two clutch free throws the Pacers would capture Game 4 in overtime 101-99 to take a commanding 3-1 series lead. The Pacers would go on to close the series out with a 105-87 home win in Game 5. The Pacers would face a much tougher test in the second round as they faced the Miami Heat. The Heat would get a monster game from LeBron James to take the opener 95-86. Taking advantage of the absence of Chris Bosh, and struggles of Dwyane Wade the Pacers would even the series with a 78-75 win. As the series shifted to Indiana, the Pacers grabbed control, with a 94-75 win as George Hill led the way with 20 points. However, the Pacers could not keep the Heat down long, as LeBron James scored 40 points as the Heat evened the series with a 101-93. From there it would be all Miami, as they captured the next two games to win the series in six games on the way to winning the NBA Championship.
2012/13: Coming off a solid performance in the playoffs, the Indiana Pacers a major setback when their team leader Danny Granger was sidelined with patellar tendinosis, keeping him on the bench for all but five games during the season. Without Granger, the Pacers got off to a slow start, losing seven of their first 11 games. The Pacers would continue to struggle into December. However, as the New Year approached the Pacers began to get their season on track as they won eight of ten and entered the New Year with a record of 18-13. The Pacers would have an up and down Januarys, struggling on the road, but excelling at home as they posted a 7-0 mark at Banker’s Life Fieldhouse, but lost six of eight away from Indiana. Over the next two months the Pacers would play their best basketball of the season, posting a record of 18-8 in February and March as they took over first place in the Central Division, a spot they would hold the remainder of the season. The Pacers would go on to finish the year with a record of 49-32, grabbing the third seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs. Without Danny Granger, the Pacers got a breakout season from Paul George, who was named the NBA’s Most Improved Player, averaging a team best 17.4 points per game, with 7.6 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game. David West also had a big year with 17.1 points and 7.7 rebounds per game.
2013 Playoffs: In the playoffs the Pacers would face the Atlanta Hawks in the first round. Continuing their excellent home court edge, the Pacers took the opener 107-90, as Paul George had a Triple-Double with 23 points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists. The Pacers continued to dominate at home in Game 2, winning 113-98, with Paul George having another big night with a game high 27 points. However, as the series shifted to Atlanta, the Hawks answered back winning the next two games 90-69 and 102-91. Back home in Indiana, the Pacers regained control of the series with a 106-83 win in Game 5, as David West scored a game high 24 points, with Lance Stephenson making his presence felt on the boards with 12 rebounds. Game 6 would be in Atlanta, but behind a tremendous defensive effort the Pacers closed out the series with an 81-73 win, as George Hill and David West led the way with 21 points, while Roy Hibbert and Lance Stephenson led the way on the boards with 11 rebounds. Facing an old foe in the second round the Pacers met the New York Knicks, getting an early break through by winning Game 1 at Madison Square Garden 102-95. The Knicks would recover to with a blowout win in Game 2, but as the series went to Indiana the Pacers size took over and dominated the Knicks. With Roy Hibbert scoring 24 points with 12 boards, the Pacers took Game 3 by a score of 82-71, then took Game 4 by a 95-82 score, as George Hill scored 26 points, while Paul George was the big man on the boards with 14 rebounds. The Knicks would win Game 5, but the series belonged to Indiana, as the Pacers won 106-99 in Game 6 as Lance Stephenson was the big man with 25 points, as Roy Hibbert led a dominant rebounding effort with 12 boards. Facing the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals, the Pacers looked to shock the world as they gave the defending champs all they could handle in Game 1, taking the game to overtime. However, the Pacers just came away frustrated as LeBron James won the game 103-102 with a layup in overtime. The Pacers would bounce back to take Game 2 in Miami 97-93 as Roy Hibbert led the way with 29 points and 10 boards. The series shifted to Indiana for Game 3, but the Pacers missed an opportunity to seize control, losing 114-96. After a disappointing performance in Game 3, the Pacers would even the series again with a 99-92 win in Game 4 as Roy Hibbert led the scoring with 23 points, while David West and Hibbert each had 12 rebounds. After losing Game 5 in Miami 90-79, the Pacers defense smothered the Heat in Game 6, winning 91-77 at the Fieldhouse, as Paul George led the way with 28 points while West had 14 boards to force a seventh game. The Pacers would start Game 7 strong, taking a 21-19 lead at the end of the first quarter. From there it would be all Miami, as the Heat outscored the Pacers 57-34 in the second and third on the way to winning the game 99-76 as they would go on to repeat as NBA Champions.
2013/14: After losing the seventh game of the Eastern Conference Finals, the Pacers entered the season with a mission to get home court with the hopes of dethroning the Miami Heat. Early in the season the Pacers dominated, winning 16 of their first 17 games for the best start in franchise history. After entering the New Year with a record of 25-5, the Pacers continued to roll in January posting a record of 10-5, as fans began to seriously talk about the Pacers approaching the 70 win mark. Despite holding a 40-12 record at the All-Star Break, the Pacers looked to improve as they sent Danny Granger to the Philadelphia 76ers for Evan Turner and Lavoy Allen. At first the deal looked to make the Pacers stronger, as they won their first five games after the February 20th trade deadline. However, soon the Pacers would begin to falter as rumors of friction in the locker began to surface. The Pacers would drop 10 of their next 16 games, nearly equaling their season’s loss total in March alone. The Pacers would win four of seven games in April. Despite a second half that saw them go 16-15 over their last 31 games, the Pacers finished the season with the best record in the Eastern Conference at 56-26. Paul George was the Pacers leading scorer with 21.7 points per game, while grabbing 6.8 boards per game. George was one of four Pacers with more than six rebounds per game, joining him was Lance Stephenson who had a team best 7.2 rebounds per game with 13.8 points per game, David West and Roy Hibbert.
2014 Playoffs: The Pacers began the postseason against the Atlanta Hawks, with their late season struggles continuing in Game 1, as they suffered a 101-93 loss at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The Pacers continued to struggle in Game 2, trailing by 11 points in the second quarter before going 32-6 run that spanned the end of the first half and the start of the third quarter. The Pacers would go on to win the game 101-85, with Paul George leading the way with 27 points and 10 rebounds. After losing 98-85 in Game 3, the Pacers were in serious trouble down by ten points in Game 4, before a late rally Paul George and David West three point bombs enabled them to even the series with a 91-88 win. Returning home proved no remedy for the Pacers lackluster play as the Hawks again built a big lead in Game 5, scoring 41 points. The Hawks eventually built a 30 point lead, before the Pacers attempted to claw their way back in the game. However, the deficit was too large as the Hawks won the game 107-97 to but the Pacers on the brink of elimination. The Hawks continued to control the series in Game 6, holding a five point lead with three minutes left. Facing an embarrassing first round exit, David West hit a pair of free throws then stole the ball Pero Antic and hit a 19 point jumper. West would then win the game, with a basket with 46.5 seconds left as the Pacers went on to seal the game at the foul line, winning the game 95-88. The Pacers would go on to win the series with a 92-80 victory in Game 7, as Paul George scored 30 points. Facing the Washington Wizards in the second round, the Pacers again came out flat in Game 1, losing 102-96. However, in Game 2 Roy Hibbert who thus far had struggled badly in the playoffs had a big game 28 points and nine rebounds to help the Pacers even the series with an 86-82 win. The Pacers defense returned to the early season form in Game 3 as they won the game 85-63 to take control of the series. Game 4 would see Paul George have his best game of the postseason, scoring 39 points with 12 boards as the won the game 95-92 to take a 3-1 series lead. With a chance to close out the series in five games, the Pacers suffered a big letdown at home, losing 102-79. However, with David West scoring 29 points the Pacers would end the series in six games with a 93-80 win in Washington. Despite some bumps in the road down the stretch the Pacers were back in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat, with home court advantage. In the opener, the Pacers jumped out to an early ten point lead, and controlled the game the rest of the way, winning 107-96, and Paul George led the way with 24 points. However, the Pacers would suffer a letdown in Game 2, losing 87-83. As the series shifted to Miami, the Heat took command, winning the next two games easily 99-87 and 102-90. As the series returned to Indiana, the Pacers got a big game from Paul George who scored 37 points in a 93-90 win. In Game 6 the Heat would scorch the Pacers 117-92 to win the series in six games. It marked the fourth straight year Miami went to the Eastern Conference Finals, and the third straight season they eliminated the Pacers.
2014/15: After falling in the Eastern Conference Finals, the Indiana Pacers had a rough off-season losing Lance Stephenson to free agency after signing with the Charlotte Hornets, then losing Paul George to a broken leg. George’s injury came during a Team USA scrimmage ahead of the FIBA World Championships. The Pacers would open the season with a 103-91 win over the Philadelphia 76ers, but dropped their next six games, as they also started the season without George Hill, who was recovering from knee surgery. Hill would miss the season’s first 23 games as the Pacers found themselves in an early hole at 7-17. George Hill would return at end of December, but never was completely healthy, and played just 43 games, while leading the team in scoring with 16.1 points per game. After ending January with a record of 17-32, the Pacers began showing signs of improvement in February, winning seven of nine. The Pacers would begin March on a six-game winning streak and found themselves back in the playoff chase. Helping to motivate the Pacers, was Paul George who after being expected to miss the entire season, following his gruesome Team USA injury was progressing faster than expected and targeted April as a return date. George would make his return on April 5th and scored 13 points while receiving a thunderous ovation at Banker’s Life Fieldhouse to help the Pacers to a 112-89 win over the Miami Heat. With the return of George the Pacers would win six in a row, and made up to eighth place. However, a calf injury in the next to last game landed Paul George on the bench for the season finale a game they would lose to the Memphis Grizzlies 95-83. The loss would knock Indiana out of the postseason, as they lost out of the final spot in the playoffs by a tiebreaker against the Brooklyn Nets, posting a record of 38-44.
2015/16: After missing the playoffs the Indiana Pacers expected to quickly bounce back as Paul George was declared healthy and waiting to go after missing all but six games recovering from a broken leg. To help Paul George, the Pacers signed All-Star Guard Monta Ellis to a four-year contract worth $44 million. Despite losing all three games played in October, the Pacers managed to get off to a solid start, as they had a terrific November, winning 11 of 13. This included a perfect 6-0 record at Bakers Life Fieldhouse. However, the next three months the Pacers had trouble finding any consistency as they posted a losing record in December, January and February. Despite three mediocre months, the Pacers remained over .500 for the season, as they always seemed to put together a few wins to keep themselves in playoff position. As the season was coming to an end the Pacers made one last push, as they won six of their last seven games to finish with a record of 45-37, which enabled them to grab the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference. The Pacers return to the playoffs was in conjunction with Paul George returning to the lineup, as he returned to All-Star form, leading the Pacers in scoring with 23.1 points per game, while adding 7.0 rebounds per game. George even came close to making history in the All-Star Game in Toronto as his 41 points for the Eastern Conference was one short of Wilt Chamberlain’s record 42 -point game in 1962.
2016 NBA Playoffs: The Indiana Pacers were heavy underdogs as they faced the Toronto Raptors in the first round of the playoffs. Paul George, who had a spectacular All-Star performance at Air Canada Centre, starts the playoffs with a bang scoring 39 points with six assists as the Pacers won the opener 100-90. Toronto would bounce back with a 98-87 win in Game 2, as the series was even heading into Indiana. The Pacers came out flat at Banker’s Fieldhouse in Game 3, suffering a 101-85 loss as they fell behind early and never got anything going. With George Hill and Ian Mahinmi each scoring 22 points, the Pacers rebounded to even the series in Game 4, winning 100-83. Back in Toronto for Game 5, the Pacers came out hot, scoring 35 points in the first quarter as they controlled the game for three quarters, with Paul George once again scoring 39 points. Indiana unraveled in the fourth quarter as they were outscored 25-9 and saw a 13-point lead evaporate, with the Raptors rallied to win the game 102-99, as George Hill’s game tying three-pointer was too ruled to be shot after time expired. The Pacers would fight back to win Game 6 at home 101-83 as Paul George had another solid performance with 21 points, 11 rebounds and six assists. In Game 7, the Pacers got another double-double from George who had 26 points and 12 rebounds. However, their fourth quarter rally fell just short as the Raptors won 89-84 to advance to the second round. Despite giving the Raptors all they could handle, the Pacers decided to part ways with Coach Frank Vogel following the season.
2016/17: The Indiana Pacers entered the season with a new coach, as team president Larry Bird looking for a new voice replaced Frank Vogel with Nate McMillan. The McMillan era began with a 130-121 win in overtime on opening night and Baker’s Life Field House. In the early part of the season, the Pacers were strong at home and terrible on the road as they hovered near .500, holding a record of 16-18 at the end of December. The Pacers were a heavy home schedule started the New Year playing winning basketball, winning six of their first seven games. The Pacers started February during a seven-game winning streak, which was followed immediately by a six-game skid as they continued to thread the waters of mediocrity. The Pacers spent most of March on the road, struggled, losing ten games. In a battle for the last few spots until the end of the season, the Pacers finished strong winning five of six games in April to finished seventh overall in the Eastern Conference with a record of 42-40. The Pacers can thank a strong record at home for getting them to the playoffs as they posted a record of 29-12 in their Indiana home while struggling with a 13-28 record on the road. Paul George was the Pacers MVP, with a team-high 23.7 points and 6.6 rebounds per game, while Myles Turner had a breakout season with 14.5 points and 7.3 rebounds per game.
2017 Playoffs: The Indiana Pacers began the playoffs against the reign NBA Champion Cleveland Cavaliers. In Game 1 the Pacers staged a late rally that came up just short, as C.J. Miles missed a potential game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer, allowing the Cavalier to hang for a 109-108 win in the opener. Paul George had a big night for Game 2, scoring 32 points with eight rebounds and seven assists, but it was not enough as the Cavaliers won 117-111. As the series shifted to Indiana, the Pacers looked to be well on their way to a win, leading at the half 74-49. However, LeBron James had a monster second half as Cleveland rallied to win the game 119-114. The Pacers would suffer another close loss in Game 4, as the Cavaliers completed the sweep with a 106-102 win.
2017/18: There was not much hope when the season began for the Indiana Pacers, as a Paul George had been dealt away in the offseason. It was a move that made seemingly all of Indiana angry, as the Pacers got back Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis from the Oklahoma City Thunder in return. Paul George had become the face of the franchise for the past six years and who was making less than Victor Oladipo. The Pacers hovered around .500 for the first two and a half months, as they held a record 19-19 at the begging of January. Early in the season, Victor Oladipo showed he could take the mantle from George, as he scored a career-high 47 points on December 10th in a 126-116 overtime win over the Denver Nuggets. The Pacers finally got into their groove, winning ten games in January. The Pacers would be one of the strongest teams in the Eastern Conference in the second half of the season. Victor Oladipo had a career year, averaging 23.1 points per game as he won the NBA’s Most Improved Player Award. The Pacers would battle the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Central Division Title, as they went 11-4 in March. The Pacers would fall two games short, posting a record of 48-34.
Written by James Harding
2018 Playoffs: The Indiana Pacers would face the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round, with their division battle settling homecourt, as the Pacers held the fifth seed. In Game 1, Victor Oladipo scored 32 points as the Pacers won 98-80. The Cavaliers bounced back with LeBron James scoring 46 points in Game 2 to record a 100-97 win. At Banker’s Life Fieldhouse, Bojan Bogdanovic scored 30 points in Game 3, as the Pacers won 92-90. However, in Game 4, LeBron James torched Indiana again to square the series at two games apiece, with a 104-100 win. LeBron often would be the road bump for the Pacers, in Game 5, he scored 44 points with a game-winning shot at the buzzer, as the Cavs took control of the series with a 98-95 win. Victor Oladipo delivered a triple-double in Game 6, with 28 points, 13 rebounds, and ten assists, as the Pacers won 121-87 to send the series to a seventh game. Oladipo had a strong Game 7 in Cleveland, but it would not be enough as the LeBron scored 45 points to lead the Cavaliers to the NBA Finals for the fourth straight season with a record 105-101.
2018/19: The Indiana Pacers looked to build off a successful season as Victor Oladipo successfully replaced Paul George as the face of the franchise. Coming off a career-best season, Oladipo was off to a great start, as Indiana was among the top teams in the East, with a record of 25-12 at the end of December. The Pacers continued their strong play in January, holding a record of 32-15 on January 23rd. However, it was on that date in a 110-106 win over the Toronto Raptors, that the Pacers championship hopes took a significant road bump, as Oladipo ruptured a quadriceps tendon. Indiana lost their first four games after losing their All-Star but got back on track in February as Bojan Bogdanovic stepped up his play. The Pacers would post a record of 9-3 in February, all but securing a spot in the playoffs. After the All-Star Break, the Pacers would scuffle as they lost ten straight games on the road and went 4-10 in March. Demonstrating how well they played before losing Victor Oladipo, the Pacers finished the season with a record of 48-34, earning the fifth seed for the second straight season.
2019 Playoffs: The Indiana Pacers would take on the Boston Celtics in the first round of the playoffs. The Pacers late-season troubles carried over into the postseason, as they suffered an 84-74 loss in the opener at TD Garden. The Pacers had their chance to steal Game 2, as Bojan Bogdanovic scored 23 points with eight rebounds. However, the Celtics outscored Indiana 31-12 in the fourth quarter and won the game 99-91. As the series shifted to Banker’s Life Fieldhouse, the Pacers were unable to get back on track as they lost 104-96 and trailed 3-0. The Celtics would go on to complete the sweep with a 110-106 win.
©MMXX Tank Productions. Stats researched by Frank Fleming, all information, and team names are property of the National Basketball Association. This site is not affiliated with the Indiana Pacers of the NBA. This site is maintained for research purposes only. All logos used on this page were from Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos Page.
Page created on February 25, 2003. Last updated on March 26, 2020, at 4:10 pm ET.