Indiana Pacers Tickets
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The Pacers were one of four ABA teams that joined the NBA in the ABA-NBA merger in 1976. For the 1976-77 seasons the Pacers were joined in the merged league by the New York Nets, Denver Nuggets and San Antonio Spurs of the ABA. Financially, the Pacers were by far the weakest of the four ABA refugees. Indeed, they were on far weaker financial footing than the team acknowledged to be the last ABA team left out of the expansion, the Kentucky Colonels. Although it has never been confirmed, it appeared the Pacers made the cut because Indianapolis was a far more lucrative television market than Louisville, home of the Colonels. They finished their inaugural NBA season with a record of 36-46, as Billy Knight and Don Buse were invited to represent Indiana in the NBA All-Star Game. This was one of the few highlights of the Pacers’ first 13 years in the league–a time in which they had but one winning season and just two playoff appearances. A lack of year-to-year continuity became the norm for most of the next decade, as they traded away Knight and Buse before the 1977-78 seasons even started. They acquired Adrian Dantley in exchange for Knight, but Dantley was traded in December, while the Pacers’ second-leading scorer, John Williamson, and was dealt in January.
In 1990-91, the Pacers returned to the playoffs with a 41-41 record, and Schrempf was named the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year. Bob Hill was head coach at this time. The Pacers had a memorable series against the highly favored Boston Celtics that they managed to extend to five games before losing Game 5, 124-121, with Larry Bird hosting one of the greatest comebacks in sports history. The Pacers returned to the playoffs in 1991-92 and met the Celtics again, but this time the Celtics left no doubt who was better as they swept the Pacers in three straight games.
The Pacers duplicated their 52-30 record in 1995-96, but were hurt severely by an injury to Reggie Miller’s eye socket in April, from which he was not able to return until Game 5 of their first-round series against the Hawks. Reggie scored 29 points in that game, but the Hawks came away with a two-point victory to put an early end to Indiana’s season. This 1995-96 team did manage to go down in history as the only team to defeat the Chicago Bulls twice that year, a Bulls team which made history with an all-time best 72-10 record. The Pacers could not withstand several key injuries in 1996-97, nor could they handle the absence of Mark Jackson, who had been traded to the Denver Nuggets before the season. The Pacers finished 39-43 and missed the playoffs for the first time in seven years, after which coach Larry Brown stepped down. The Pacers have made many changes over the years some good some bad, unfortunately Indiana Pacers tickets have never been able to rise in interest like the Pacers front office would like.