The Pacers are Back


The Pacers are Back

Tristan Grider, Reporter

After a disappointing season, the Indiana Pacers are back in Gainbridge Fieldhouse to start the journey of 82 games until playoffs. Last season, the Pacers accumulated a 25-57 record, finishing 13th in the Eastern Conference Standings. This record could have been better, especially since they lost the last ten games of the season. In the offseason, the Pacers made some strategic moves trading away veteran guard Malcolm Brogdon, to the Celtics and drafting great players for their rookie seasons, such as Bennedict Mathurin out of Arizona. After this offseason, the Pacers have the youngest average age of players across the league. Being led by team captains Tyrese Haliburton and Myles Turner.

Daniel Chaney, co-host of the Indy Boys: Racing Podcast, and I head downtown to watch the opener at the Fieldhouse. They play Bradley Beal and the Washington Wizards. Last season, both teams tied the season series at two wins a piece.

My pregame prediction is a win for the home team. The Pacers are going to be hyped to start their season in Indy, so I expect a win for them. I want Tyrese Haliburton and Bennedict Mathurin to drop 20+ points and center Myles Turner to snag 10 rebounds.

Leading up to Gametime…

This season’s theme is “Revved Up!.”  In the stadium, each seat had a free shirt draped over it.  The shirt was a gold color and featured the mascot “Boomer.”

Sad news broke right before the game, Myles Turner would sit out of the game for the home opener. He stepped on a ball boy’s foot, spraining his ankle. Turner is one of the best paint defenders in the league, leading the team in blocks per season. Daniel Theis also didn’t dress for this game.

It’s Time

This game was exciting. Tyrese Haliburton and the Pacers were running a run-and-gun style offense, which often resorted to a three-point attempt or a shot at the basket.  Haliburton led the Pacers and the game in scoring dropping 26 points. He also collected 7 assists, and 4 rebounds. Benedict Mathurin, Buddy Hield and Jalen Smith all scored in double figures.

While the Pacers played a good game, the Washington Wizards came to play. Team Captain Bradley Beal and Kyle Kuzma both had 20+ points. The Wizards also won the rebound- battle as the Wizards gathered 52 boards to the Pacers’ 42.

In the final seconds, Bennedict Mathurin was on fire. He scored 6 points in 10 seconds which set up a chance for a game-tying three by Haliburton. His shot barely missed, which led to a free throw game and the Pacers losing 114-107.

I didn’t see any fans disappointed in the loss. It was a good game, and it was nice to see our young stars shining in the first game of the new year. If you are a Pacers fan, you have a lot to look forward to Haliburton and Mathurin. Also, check out a game! Tickets are very affordable, with most games having tickets below $20!