Pacers Mailbag: Expectations, Bally Sports, status of T.J. McConnell, future moves and more
Answering the latest round of questions from Fieldhouse Files subscribers.
Each month, I’ll open it up to paid subscribers for questions. As always, you can leave your thoughts in the comments or click here to send me an email.
Debbie: Hi Scott, I have AT&T uverse. Is Bally going to be carrying the games again after filing bankruptcy?
Hi, Debbie. I’m told there will NOT be any change for the upcoming season and games will continue to be available on Bally Sports Indiana and the Bally Sports app. (But… teams will be watching closely what’s going elsewhere with the new local models, specifically with in Phoenix and Utah.) The local TV broadcast rights are a significant revenue generator that goes directly to the team.
Brad: I’m a loyal fan but still feel skeptical. How will the Pacers match up with the top teams in the East. Will we be fortunate to make the playoffs or can we hope to overtake some of the contenders? Also, I’m excited about the in season tournament. Can the Pacers excel in that format? Staying healthy is always a challenge.
The Celtics and Bucks are at the top, for certain. I’ve never been a believer in the 76ers and nothing has changed; James Harden is expected to be there, at least in the short-term. From there, the Heat, Cavaliers and Knicks are in the next tier. (However, it’s still unclear what path the Heat, Raptors and 76ers are going down…)
A good Pacers season, that goes according to plan, would be to get back in the playoffs and earn the sixth seed. Not be part of the play-in tournament, but finally experience postseason play again. (Wouldn’t that be nice? I miss it.)
The in-season tournament appeals to a team like the Pacers, one made up of players who are all hungry, out to prove something and desperate to experience something more than the regular season. Several players I’ve talked to mentioned how they expect it to raise the intensity level of early-season games.
I’m not a fan, but I’m going to give it a chance. If it leads to a better basketball product, we all win. Otherwise, it’s just a shiny new object that will confuse fans for a few years.
Tom: This can’t be the roster at the start of the season, right? If not, what kind of changes do you anticipate? If so, why? Is there a reason to keep the roster as is, to help build in 2024?