Indiana Pacers
Indiana Pacers

Indiana Pacers

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Indiana Pacers Team History

The Indiana Pacers had great success during its time in the American Basketball Association but are still searching for its first NBA championship since the merger. The Indiana Pacers were established in 1967 as a member of the ABA and joined the NBA in 1976 after the ABA merged with the NBA. Despite playing in one of the NBA’s smaller media markets, the Pacers have amassed a loyal following. They have had some success in recent years as they continue their pursuit of a championship.

Indiana Pacers Championships

The Pacers were one of the most dominant teams in the American Basketball Association, winning three ABA championships in four years and appearing in the ABA Finals five times, more than half the total number of ABA championship series. Since the merger with the NBA, the Pacers have made it back to the NBA Finals, winning the Eastern Conference Championship in 2000 before falling to the Los Angeles Lakers in six games in the Finals. The Pacers have won six division titles since joining the NBA and made it to the Eastern Conference Championship Series before falling to the LeBron James-led Miami Heat both years.

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Indiana Pacers Famous Players and Hall of Famers

One of the most beloved Pacers of all time is Reggie Miller, known for his clutch performances and three-point accuracy. Miller spent his entire 18-year career with the Indiana Pacers, leading the team to the NBA Finals in 2000. Miller was never able to get his team to the championship, but he did retire as the NBA’s all-time leader in three-point baskets made with 2,560 (Ray Allen has since surpassed the record). Miller also is the franchise leader in points scored (25,279), assists (4,141), steals (1,505), and minutes played (47,619).

Before Reggie Miller, there was George McGinnis, who played for the Indiana Pacers from 1971 to 1975 and again from 1980 to 1982. McGinnis was one of the top players in the ABA and led the Pacers to two of their ABA championships in 1972 and 1973, earning ABA Playoffs MVP honors in 1973. McGinnis was also voted the ABA Most Valuable Player in 1975. McGinnis also made six total All-Star Game selections, three in the ABA, and three in the NBA. McGinnis ranks seventh in Pacers history in points scored and also ranked fifth in rebounding and fourth in steals.

In more recent years, the Pacers were led by Paul George, who took Indiana to the Conference Championship Series twice in the 2010s. While George’s time in Indiana was cut short by injury and an eventual departure to Oklahoma City, George still left his mark on the Pacers during his time in Indiana, elevating the small-market team into a perennial playoff contender whenever he was able to stay healthy. After George’s departure, the superstar role has been taken over by Victor Oladipo in recent years. Still, only time will tell whether Oladipo will be able to lead the Pacers to success – or if he will be able to stay healthy enough to do so.

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