The Indiana Pacers are the 2012-13 NBA Central Division Champions.
This is the franchise's first Central Division title in nearly a decade. Indiana last accomplished this feat in the 2003-2004 season, when it posted a gaudy 61-21 record and with Reggie Miller nearing his last hurrah in Pacers pinstripes.
Not bad at all considering the adversity this team had to go through in years past:
- The brawl at the Palace of Auburn Hills in 2004
- Draft busts (Shawne Williams, David Harrison and Brandon Rush)
- Off-court incidents (Williams, Jamaal Tinsley and Stephen Jackson)
- Questionable acquisitions (Troy Murphy, Ike Diogu, Mike Dunleavy, Jr. and Sarunas Jasikevicius)
- Bad coaching (Isiah Thomas and Jim O'Brien)
- Severe attendance issues
As memorable a season this has been, there are several key events that helped shape this team's destiny. Granted, the playoffs begin in less than two weeks, and the road will definitely become more arduous.
This is not to say that winning the Central Division Championship is a walk in the park. For the Indiana Pacers to come this far, several positive turns of events had to take place.
Take All-Star forward Paul George's much-awaited breakout season, for example.
On the flip side, the Pacers' mettle was also tested by several bumps in the road—one of which was franchise cornerstone Danny Granger's left knee injury. For a team to make progress toward elite status, its response to adversity will play a major role.
Let's now probe deeper into the events that drastically changed the course of the NBA Central Division champion Indiana Pacers' 2012-13 NBA season.