The Indiana Pacers 2016 NBA Regular season schedule was released Thursday afternoon. Get an inside look as we break down a few games that stick out the most on the schedule, as the Pacers try to regain their dominance atop the Eastern Conference.
The Indiana Pacers finished the 2015-16 NBA season with a 45-37 record — good for the 7th seed in the Eastern Conference.
After losing to the 2nd-seeded Toronto Raptors in a close seven games in the first round of the playoffs this past season, team president Larry Bird made a few changes to the roster in hopes of getting his team back into contention.
The Pacers’ 2016 schedule can be viewed here. Let’s take a look at some of the team’s most important games this coming season.
Vs. Cleveland Cavaliers – Wednesday, Nov. 16
This one is quite the no-brainer. After finishing at No. 7 in the East, Bird was determined to improve the Pacers’ roster so that they can become better and contend with the East’s best. So he did just that — trading George Hill to the Utah Jazz in a three-team trade that brought Indianapolis-native Jeff Teague to the Pacers, as well as trading the Pacers’ 20th overall selection in the 2016 NBA Draft in exchange for Thaddeus Young.
Bird’s big free agency signing came when he signed veteran Al Jefferson to a three-year, $30 million contract. With a revamped roster, the Pacers could be on the brink of contending with some of the top teams for the Eastern Conference title — and fans will have a first look in this game, when Indiana takes on the reigning champions.
Vs. Golden State Warriors – Monday, Nov. 21
Another game that will test the Pacers’ ability to hang with some of the league’s elite comes in this matchup, when the Warriors travel to Bankers Life Fieldhouse to take on the Pacers. A lot of hype will surround this game for the Pacers mostly due to the fact that the Warriors are being viewed as an NBA ‘super-team’ after the signing of superstar Kevin Durant this offseason.
At Toronto Raptors – Sunday, Mar. 19
The Pacers get their first chance to take a crack at the team that knocked them out of the postseason when they travel to Toronto to take on DeMar DeRozan and Co. in this late-season matchup. It is possible that by this time of the season, both of these teams could be neck-and-neck against one-anther for one of the top seeds in the Eastern Conference.
With a new-and-improved roster from last season, a lot of expectations could be put on Paul George and the rest of the Pacers to have a far-better year than what they saw in 2015.
The Indiana Pacers open their regular season at home against the Dallas Mavericks on October 26.
More from Ink on Indy
- Still Searching for Their Groove, Pacers Take on Struggling Magic Thursday Night
- Pacers Travel to the Nation’s Capital to Begin Four Game Road Trip
- Update on Pacers’ Oladipo’s Serious Leg Injury
- Has Romeo Langford Been a Disappointment for the Hoosiers?
- The Indianapolis Colts Have a Brutal Road Schedule in 2019