For years, the common thread among Indiana Pacers fans was the lack of national respect the team has garnered in the past couple of years. Those in the know knew, sure, but even heading into the 2013-14 regular season, there were some minor doubts about Indiana's ability to sustain success moving forward. The injury heavy Eastern Conference plagued most of the conference's top contenders a season ago, including the Pacers, but the Brooklyn Nets upgrades and Derrick Rose's return made many doubt whether or not the Pacers' seven game Eastern Conference Finals run was a fluke.
Through the first two weeks, it's proven to be anything but. Indiana has been the biggest consistency in the Eastern Conference, beating the aforementioned Chicago and Brooklyn, which don't quite appear the invincible offseason monters they were pegged to be, tackling a four game in five night stretch, and doing what no Indiana Pacers team in franchise history has ever done: start the season with eight straight victories. Forget starting the season with eight straight victories, last year's 49-32 Pacers never won more than five in a row. So it's no wonder the Pacers are the unanimous choice for the league's #1 team in various power rankings, and it proves that winning creates national respect.
NBA power rankings 2013: Undefeated Pacers take over top spot - SBNation.com
Jason Patt touches upon Indiana's confidence, wins, and even Roy Hibbert talking Defensive Player of the Year in November.
Pacers rise above early parity | NBA.com
Not only #1, but the Pacers are John Schuhmann's Hero Team of the Week after going 4-0 in a four game in five night stretch, already making the December 10th matchup against the Heat appointment viewing.
Pacers clamp down on competition to reach No. 1 - NBA - SI.com
The Pacers and Spurs are off to the best start in the NBA after each falling to Miami in seven games last spring. Coincidence? Plus, Matt Dollinger is impressed by Indiana's defense, even by Indiana's standards.
NBA Power Rankings: Pacers vault to top - Yahoo Sports
Not only are the Pacers a franchise best 8-0, but are off to the best start in the NBA since 2010, including a New Orleans Hornets team with David West.
PBT NBA Power Rankings: It's the Pacers, Spurs then everyone else | ProBasketballTalk
Sure the defense and Paul George have been good, but Lance Stephenson's growth might be the most compelling story line according to Kurt Helin.
Power Rankings: Pacers command respect; Westbrook has OKC moving - CBSSports.com
Matt Moore has Indiana the king of the NBA jungle. Not only is Indiana winning, but they're topping more desperate teams along the way, something a majority of the league has failed to do.
NBA Power Rankings: Week 2 - FOX Sports on MSN
The only "issue" Jimmy Spencer sees the Pacers having right now is how they'll work back in a former All-Star in Danny Granger. Sounds like something Frank Vogel would call a nice problem to have.