The NBA schedule release has grown exponentially in terms of prestige over the past few years, and while today’s reveal was effectively the NBA groundhog seeing its shadow, there was a lot of exciting notes for the Indiana Pacers, and the league as a whole, in waiting out the final six weeks with no regular season basketball.
The Pacers themselves dove head first into the schedule release, sharing one of the best video reveals in the form of Netflix’s menu.
NOW STREAMING: The 2019-20 Pacers Schedule pic.twitter.com/e6K32AYkz9— Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) August 12, 2019
The agony of finding something to watch is on full display in this video, but the common theme is that, hey, everything here is actually worth watching. However, it will take six months to binge through all 82 episodes of Indiana’s upcoming season, which starts on October 23rd at home against the Detroit Pistons.
The opening night matchup will be one of four October games for the Pacers, the only home game among them. The three game road trip to end October against Cleveland, Detroit, and Brooklyn will give way to a home heavy November, where the Pacers will play 10 of the first 14 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
What sets apart the schedule reveal this year to others is just how manageable Indiana’s schedule is for the first 30 or so games. It comes as a sigh of relief that the opening stretch of games will give the Pacers every opportunity to hover at or around .500 as they await the return of Victor Oladipo.
Of their first 18 games, 11 will be against playoff teams from a year ago, but only three will be against teams that won 50 games. Seven games against Detroit, Orlando, and Brooklyn will make up a bulk of those matchups, giving the Pacers a chance to find continuity in familiar matchups.
At the end of November, things stiffen up a bit, however as the Pacers will hit the first of three five game road trips on the year, taking the long way from Philadelphia to New York, with stops in Memphis, Oklahoma City, and Detroit. Those intermittent stops will all finish the season series against those three teams. Suffice to say, repeat opponents will be in the style early for Indiana.
The Pacers will get their first glimpse of the new look Los Angeles squads in December, hosting Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and the Clippers on December 9 and LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and the Lakers on December 17. A month later, the Pacers will make their first West Coast trip of the season, traveling to Denver, Utah, Phoenix, Golden State, and Portland between January 19-26.
The final five game stretch will come starting on Leap Day 2020, hitting Cleveland, San Antonio, Milwaukee, Chicago, and Dallas. Indiana will only make one more West Coast swing on the year, hitting Sacramento and Los Angeles to face all three teams between March 29 and April 1.
None of Indiana’s homestands will reach five games, the longest sitting at four. There will be three such stretches, the first taking place from November 23-29. The second will be in early February and the third in mid-March. The Pacers will play 11 back-to-backs this season, two of which will be home/home, five of which being away/away.
While there’s no date for Victor Oladipo’s return as of yet, the television networks are expecting him to be in full swing by February. The Pacers will have six nationally televised games in the second half of the year:
- February 7, vs. Toronto on ESPN
- February 12 vs. Milwaukee on ESPN
- February 27 vs. Portland on TNT
- March 4 at Milwaukee on ESPN
- March 18 vs. Golden State on ESPN
- April 8 at Boston on ESPN
Pacers fans will also get an opportunity to see old friends stop by all before the New Year.
- November 3 - Thaddeus Young and the Chicago Bulls
- November 16 - Wesley Matthews and the Milwaukee Bucks
- November 27 - Bojan Bogdanovic and the Utah Jazz
- December 20 - Cory Joseph and the Sacramento Kings
- December 31 - Kyle O’Quinn and the Philadelphia 76ers
Check out a printable schedule here.