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As the appreciation for the Pacers’ talent and togetherness continues to rise nationwide, the team has been added to two nationally-televised broadcasts.
ESPN has picked up the first meeting of the season between the Pacers and Phoenix Suns, on Jan. 22 at 10:30 p.m. EST. For the Pacers, it’s the second game of their second (and final) five-game West Coast trip of the season. Concluding with the game in Phoenix, the Pacers will have played four straight games on national television—two on TNT, one on NBA TV, and one on ESPN.
These pairs of teams made a trade in the offseason — Gerald Green, Miles Plumlee and their 2014 first-round pick to Phoenix in exchange for Luis Scola — and it has worked out nicely for both sides. Green is averaging 13.3 points per game and second-year player Miles Plumlee is worth 9.7 points and 9.1 rebounds as a starter in every game.
Eight days later, ESPN will also broadcast a much-anticipated rematch against the Portland Trail Blazers, this time in Indy on Feb. 7 at 7:00 p.m. EST [Tickets]. The Blazers edged the Pacers in their first meeting despite Paul George exploding for 17 of his career-high 43 points in the final period. The two teams currently lead their respective conferences.
The addition of two games raises the number of Pacers games on ESPN to twelve with the possibility of more being added later. Beyond their success on the floor, Indiana is a very likable team with a captivating coach. Moreover, four of the five starters are in the top ten among their position in the Eastern Conference for All-Star balloting, which concludes on Jan. 20.
ESPN can expect big numbers to come. The Pacers’ Dec. 18 game in Miami delivered the network its best overnight rating of the young season.