Pacers Set to Begin 2020-21 Season
The Indiana Pacers are set to begin the 2020-21 NBA season on Wednesday, December 23, against the New York Knicks.
This will be the first of 72 regular-season games this season, as the league has shortened the season by 10 games.
The Pacers went 0-3 during the preseason, losing to the Cleveland Cavaliers twice and the Philadelphia 76ers once. Now the real season begins, and the Pacers are expected to compete for the Central Division title with the Milwaukee Bucks.
Indiana will open the season with a few players out due to injury. Shooting guards Jeremy Lamb and Brian Bowen will both miss the season opener, and center Goga Bitadze will be out of the lineup as well.
Wednesday’s game will be the official head coaching debut for Nate Bjorkgren after replacing Nate McMillan. Bjorkgren had been serving as an assistant coach with the Phoenix Suns before being hired by the Pacers.
After Wednesday night’s game, the Pacers will travel to Chicago for a matchup with the Bulls on December 26. The Pacers will then return home for a four-game homestand that wraps up on January 2. The first 38 games of the regular season schedule have been announced, but the remaining schedule won’t come out until later in the year.
Television Broadcast Information
FOXSports Indiana has announced that it will broadcast all 38 games of the first half of the Pacers’ schedule. Ascension St. Vincent Radio Network will also have all of the games during the first part of the season.
Chris Denari is back for this 15th season as play-by-play announcer, and Quinn Buckner will return for his 22nd season as color commentator. FOXSports Indiana will broadcast the Pacers games even if the team has been selected for national television.
The Indiana Pacers are scheduled to be on National TV just twice during the first 38 games, and both of those matchups will be on ESPN. TNT has not selected any Pacers games during the first half of the season.
The two nationally televised games will be on February 3 against the Milwaukee Bucks and February 26 against the Boston Celtics.
Warren Expected to Play in Opener
Just over a week ago, it was reported that T.J. Warren could be forced to miss the season opener with plantar fasciitis. That report has now been updated, and it appears that Warren will suit up on Wednesday night against the New York Knicks.
New Pacers head coach, Nate Bjorkgren, announced that Warren was a full participant in the practice on Sunday, putting him on track to play. The Pacers could place Warren on a minutes restriction, but it depends on how Warren and his foot responded to the increased activity over the weekend.
Warren is one of the most important pieces to the Pacers this season, and he was one of the biggest stars in the NBA Bubble last summer. The forward averaged 26.6 points and 6.3 rebounds per game and carried the Pacers during that run.
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