The Indiana Pacers have been one of the more pleasant surprises during the first couple of months of the 2023-24 NBA season. There were some positive signs last season as the team struggled through another sub-.500 campaign, and they seemed to have found a formula that has been working so far.
Pacers Have Won 5 In A Row, Now Hottest Team In NBA
Tyrese Haliburton continues his HISTORIC run in the Pacers’ 5th-straight victory!
🔥 31 PTS, 12 AST, 5 3PM, 3 BLK, 0 TOV
🔥 1st player ever to reach those thresholds in a game
🔥 76 AST, 7 TOV during winning streak… first player ever with that many AST and that few TOV over 5… pic.twitter.com/MvV9lOi5I7
— NBA (@NBA) January 4, 2024
They were one of the biggest stories in the early going, especially with their run at the In-Season Tournament title. They eventually came up short against the Los Angeles Lakers in the inaugural version of the event, but they were able to make a name for themselves and prove that they could be one of the teams that will compete in the Eastern Conference this year.
It started with star guard Tyrese Haliburton. The fourth-year player out of Iowa State has been putting up some of the best numbers of any player around the NBA this year, averaging 24.9 points and a league-leading 12.7 assists per game. Myles Turner has a scoring resurgence last year that he is carrying over into 2023-24, and Bennedict Mathurin is in consideration for the 6th Man of the Year award.
It looked like the magic may have been running out a bit in mid-December. After their run at the IST title, the Pacers lost 6 of 7 games between December 13th and 23rd, and began to drop in the East standings. But a flip must have been switched at Christmas, as there hasn’t been a hotter team in the NBA since the holiday.
Double Dip Against Bucks Proves Indiana’s Worth
Giannis on 4 losses to Pacers:
“There are teams that can beat us 4 times in a season. When you go home, sleep & wake up, you think about it. When you go back & work out, you think about it. When you’re about to get freaky at night, you think about it.”pic.twitter.com/P8qqJNxiLj
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPoints) January 4, 2024
They faced one of the most difficult challenges of the season by starting the 2024 calendar year by playing two straight games against the might Milwaukee Bucks. But they were able to outscore their Eastern Conference foe by a total of 21 combined points between the two contests, pushing their winning streak to a full 5 games to boost their record to 19-14 after falling to the .500 mark.
They’ll need some help defensively if they hope to make any kind of serious push for the playoffs, but it will be hard to deny their offense. The Pacers average the most points per game of any team in the NBA, and dish out the most assists while having the best field goal percentage in the league.
Indiana will face yet another tough two-game set with one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference, as they are scheduled to take on the Celtics twice in two nights to finish off the week.