The Indiana Pacers will have their home opener on the second night of a back-to-back, facing the Memphis Grizzlies one night after their regular season opener on the road against the Toronto Raptors. The game against Memphis marks the first of 17 back-to-backs on the year, but one big difference in the schedule this year is that the Pacers have no four games in five nights stretches. The Pacers are one of eight teams spared the struggle of that fourth game, which could help Indiana as they look to return the playoffs.
With the uncertainty regarding how the team will mesh in their new style, the Pacers will face a November schedule that creates opportunities to minimize a W-L debacle early. Even if the Raptors and Grizzlies drop Indiana to 0-2, the Pacers play just five games against winning teams the rest of November, including nine home games. The Pacers will make their first of seven ESPN appearances on November 6 when they face the Miami Heat at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Indiana will make their first trip out West at the end of November, getting their first glimpse of Roy Hibbert with the Los Angeles Lakers and Lance Stephenson with the Los Angeles Clippers on November 29th and December 2nd. They'll return home for five of six, including hosting the defending champion Golden State Warriors on December 8 before traveling to Memphis and San Antonio in the week before Christmas.
A road heavy January will no doubt provide a stern test for the Pacers, who will have nine of 11 straight on the road, including two separate four game road trips that will take Indiana to the deep South and West coast with an ESPN trip to Boston in the middle of their two lone home games in nearly three weeks of action. Indiana will have seven of nine at home to follow, including games against the Clippers, Cavaliers, and Lakers early in February, before another seven of 10 on the road heading into March.
Following the Big Ten Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, the Pacers will have eight of nine at home, albeit including difficult games against the Thunder, Bulls, and Rockets. The Pacers will wrap up regular season play as they began, hosting the New York Knicks in the regular season home finale and finishing up at Milwaukee against the Bucks on the second night of a back-to-back that the Pacers should hope won't require a win-and-get-in scenario.
In addition to the seven ESPN games, Indiana will have an additional five games on NBA TV. The extensive national coverage will allow Indiana plenty of opportunities to showcase their Hickory High influenced alternates this season with five of those games taking place in Indianapolis. Not knowing where among the standings the Pacers will be spending most of their season makes it difficult to pinpoint specific games to look forward to, but with a revamped roster and a potentially exciting style, many games should prove must-see for the 2015-16 Pacers.