Danny Granger on Lack of Attention for Pacers: ‘We Take it a Little Personal’

by April 19, 2012

The Indiana Pacers may not be on the radar of most NBA fans and media, but they’re full of confidence, and are using the lack of League-wide respect and acclaim as fuel with the Playoffs approaching. From the Indy Star: “Despite owning the NBA’s fifth-best record (40-22), the Pacers are the team few people seem to talk about. National exposure has been minimal, with only one game televised by TNT, ABC or ESPN this season. ‘We take it a little personal,’ said forward Danny Granger, who leads the Pacers’ balanced scoring attack at 18.8 points a game. ‘But we’re a small market. A thing about being a small market is that you don’t get the national media coverage like some of the other teams.’ The only way for the Pacers to get the attention they believe they deserve? ‘(Make) some noise in the playoffs,’ Granger said. That means advancing past the first round, then pushing Miami or Chicago, the likely second-round opponent, to at least six games, if not pulling off the upset. ‘I think that they’ve got the necessary components,” Philadelphia 76ers coach Doug Collins said before the Pacers beat his team Tuesday. ‘There are a lot of teams that are not going to want to play them in the playoffs. If they can stay (the third seed) and win that first round, they’re going to be a tough out.’ The Pacers have faced an uphill battle to get recognition this season. They’re not viewed as a glamorous team. Unlike other teams, they don’t have that one marketable player fans flock to see. […] Indiana has already surpassed its win total for each of the past five seasons despite a schedule with 16 fewer games. ‘We’re the league’s best secret,’ center Roy Hibbert said. ‘We don’t get talked about much, but the teams we play against know what we bring and what we’re about. We are a complete team. When we win, people act surprised, but we’re not.’ […] They’ve recorded wins in Los Angeles, Chicago and Boston and were a late mental breakdown away from winning in Miami. The Pacers have a winning road record –19-14 — for only the fourth time in franchise history. ‘I felt like we were a top-five team in the NBA and I wanted our guys walking into the building feeling like the favorite,’ head coach Frank Vogel said.”