It has been a decade since the Pacers were on the verge of the NBA Finals and Pacers fans will be watching Monday night to see how Game 7 plays out in Miami.
There seems to be a rhythm to this NBA season for the Indiana Pacers. The drum beat that seemed faint at the start of the year - barely audible to the even most ardent Pacers fan - is booming now.
"It's exciting to have the Pacers back," said one fan Saturday night.
That sentiment was expressed before the Pacers win in Game 6. Now, on Monday, hours before Game 7, Pacers fans were already putting on their game faces.
Isabelle and Madison Cotton had "Go Pacers!" painted on their faces at a rally Monday afternoon at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. They think the Pacers will win Game 7.
"Because they are awesome," Madison said.
"This is Game 7. Best of one. The whole world, the basketball world, and the whole sports world is watching one event tonight and it's a basketball team that features the city of Indianapolis," said Eddie White with the Pacers.
Pacers fans had plenty to chew on as they got together for Monday's pep rally.
"We are not scared. We are a young team, but we did not get here by mistake. We're here for a purpose," said Lewis Pettrie.
"The whole idea of 'built, not bought'," said Pacers public address announcer Michael Grady.
That must certainly be part of it. The Pacers built this team, the old fashioned way, through trades and the draft. The Heat bought the right to play for an NBA title and they touted the fact that their team could win as many as six NBA titles. Any threat to that could bring out more of what we saw in Game 5 when Chris "Birdman" Andersen accosted Tyler Hansbrough.
"The Heat will try to punk the Pacers in tonight's game. The Pacers can't back down. They need to keep their emotions in check. Execute. That is the way you get back at a team that tries to push you around," Grady said.
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