Great Expectations: Pacers fans plan on watching a winner this season
September 30, 2012INDIANA SPORTS PAGE
The Indiana Pacers enjoyed being the overachieving, blue-collar team that went toe-to-toe with the NBA's heavyweights last season.
It was that mindset -- and coach Frank Vogel's sometimes over the top optimism -- that helped the team finish with the fifth-best record in the league and brought back a buzz in the city that had not existed for years.
The optimism has carried over to the upcoming season. Training camp commences later this week.
"Our ticket sales are going very strong," Pacers Sports and Entertainment President Jim Morris said. "At this point, we've had more ticket package sales than we had the entire season last year. Our ticket sales across the board are 27-28 percent higher than last year at this point. The renewal rate has been going very well."
But the days of the Pacers sneaking up on teams have passed. They are no longer playing with a chip on their shoulder looking for respect. They don't need Vogel to pull out one of his motivational gimmicks.
The Pacers are expected to be one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference. They'll be looked at more as the hunted than the hunter.
And now that they've reached that point, there's no turning back for them, only going forward.