just to get the old heart pumping.

Ok, here's the setup.

We are the # 1 team in the league at the moment. We have consistantly been one of the top 5 (record wise) teams all season long & pretty much have been the best in the east for the entire season.

We have an all-star powerforward who is a candidate for M.V.P.

We have an all-star smallforward who is a candidate for D.P.O.Y.

We have a Center who fits all of the values of our local market. ie. hustler, does dirty work, etc.

We have a local living legend at the shooting guard spot.

We have a point guard who has been "born again" & that always plays well with the locals.

We have a 6th man of the year candidate.

We have a C.O.Y. candidate.

We have a Hoosier living legend in the front office.

Life is good for the Pacers.

Now the question.

Why is there no local buzz about the Pacers? Why do our own fans not beleive?

Forget what you've been reading here on the digest or other internet sites. Even with the teeth gnashing & wrist wringing that is being done here we are still more enthused about the Pacers.

The last game I could attend was the Toronto game, actually now that I think about it that was our last home game (I think) & I will tell you straight up.

We just came off of a great roadtrip. First time we have ever swept the west & the place was just over half full.

The lower decks were full, as usual, but the entire upper corners were barren & there were plenty of seats in the end zones on both sides.

There is no local talk of how good the team is. No real strutting around about how good the team is.

Is it because of last years playoffs? Is it because everybody thinks "it's the east so who cares"? Is it overall lack of playoff success for three seasons? Of course people are going to say it's a combo of all of the above.

But what I want to know is this.

Is it possible that my theory that I have been putting forth for three years now has some validaty to it?

The local fans do not identify with this team & have no real emotional attachment to it.

Before you dismiss me on this, think about it. Think back to all of those 90's teams & remember by this time of year the fans all over central Indiana were getting stoked. The Pacers were the topic, if not now then by the middle of march.

The big question is, why?

Why hasn't the local fan base fallen for this team?

Playoff wins will cure a lot of this, so maybe this question is moot. But I still find it odd that on it's first homegame after a long stretch away being the best team in the east & playing a playoff squad that we couldn't even fill the fieldhouse to 3/4 capacity.

I won't even mention the crowd reaction it was pathetic.