Understandably, casual Pacers fans may have some questions about all of this. Well, I have the answers, sort of! Not really. Whatever. Let’s get to it.
The Pacers’ season still going?
Yes. The NBA resumed its season last night.
Isn’t that dangerous?
Nope. The entire NBA universe has been quarantined at Disney World since July 7, with all players, personnel, and staff receiving regular COVID testing. No one leaves, no one enters (without significant self-isolation and testing). No visitors. No family. No fans. Very limited media personnel. Each team is housed in one of three Disney resorts. There are three separate locations within the Disney property where all the games will take place. This is “the Bubble.” If you HAVE to do Disney in July or August, I advise doing it this way. You know, without the crowds or your kids. It is slightly more tolerable that way, I bet.
Where are the Pacers staying?
Each team has been assigned to either the Gran Destino Tower at Coronado Springs, the Grand Floridian, or the Yacht Club. The Pacers are in the Grand Floridian.
How long do they have to stay there?
Depends on how they do in the postseason. There are only eight regular season games to be played in the Bubble, then the typical 16-team NBA Playoffs format begins in mid-August. (The Pacers are currently in fifth place in the East, two games back of Miami.) For a point of reference, Game 7 of the NBA Finals is scheduled for October 12. I am confident that the Pacers will have returned home sometime before then.
I forgot. Are the Pacers good?
Kind of! If memory serves, they are a perfectly above-average NBA basketball team. They might be the most “fifth place in the East” team there has ever been, if that makes sense … but they’re fun to watch! And that is all that matters right now, frankly.
Anything else I should know?
Yeah. If you haven’t seen a televised game in the Bubble yet, it is quite … something.
For one thing, the “stands” have been replaced giant monitors showing people’s giant faces watching via Zoom or whatever, their giant eyes tracking the back-and-forth action. It’s unnerving. It’s like how Demolition Man would have portrayed a basketball “arena” had John Spartan been unfrozen to take out Russell Westbrook. Somehow, this “return to normalcy” of live sports makes everything feel 73 billion light years farther away from Normal than we already are.
Also, the BLACK LIVES MATTER lettering across each midcourt will infuriate the anti-mask, anti-science brigade of hydroxycholoroquine-huffing dullards. They will get their AR-15’s in a knot howling about how the NBA is stoking racial discord, about how ALL lives matter!! They will do this unironically. Clay Travis will stage a boycott of the league for this very reason, and Victoria Spartz too—although she’ll demand to speak to Adam Silver on the way out.
Who cares? Where can I catch the game?
FoxSports Indiana. 7:00. The Pacers are back! Finally.