The Indiana Pacers is a professional basketball team in the NBA. They are based in Indianopolis, Indiana and part of the Central Division of the Eastern Conference.
Their home arena is the Conseco Fieldhouse. They are part of the 4 teams that merged in the NBA in 1976.
Franchise History – ABA Years and Merger
They started in the ABA in 1967, playing in the Indiana State Fairgrounds Coliseum, which is now the Pepsi Coliseum. They moved in 1974 in the Market Square Arena. The Pacers were the most successful team in the history of ABA, winning three ABA titles in four seasons. They also had appeared in the Finals five times in the league’s 9 years of existence.
The Pacers were part of the four teams that was in the ABA-NBA merger in 1976. The Pacers was joined by the New York Nets, Denver Nuggets and San Antonio Spurs in their debut season 1976-77 NBA season.
They finished their first season with a decent record of 36-46. Billy Wright and Don Buse of the team was named in the NBA All-Star game which is only one of the few positive things that happened for the first 13 seasons of the Pacers. In that span, they only had three winning seasons and two postseason qualifications.
They were known to have inconsistency for the next decade as they traded Knight for Adrian Dantley who averaged 27 points per game. Though averaging that many points, he was traded in December. Their second leading scorer was also traded in January. Also, in 1980, they acquired George McInnis from the trade for Alex English.
McInnis was past his prime and was not contributing much as he was expected to as English went on to be one of the greatest scorers in the history of the NBA. The following year, they traded their 1984 draft pick for Tom Owens. The 1984 draft pick would be the class of superstars Michael Jordan, Hakeem Olajuwon, Charles Barkley and John Stockton where they would have picked one of the mentioned superstars.
In 1982-83 season, they had a disappointing record of 20-62 and only winning 26 games the following season. In 1984-85, they only had 22 victories and 26 wins in 1985-86 season. It resulted to Jack Ramsay replacing George Irvin as the head coach. Irvine led the Pacers into a 41-41 record in the 1986-87 season.
They were qualified in the playoffs for their 2nd playoff appearance of the franchise history in the NBA. It was Chuck Person who is known for his long range supremacy had led the team in scoring and later on named the Rookie of the Year. They won their first game in the playoffs against the Hawks but later on eliminated in four games.