Pacers 2015-16 schedule released — open season Oct. 28 at Toronto

There’s plenty of new faces, plans for a new emphasis on offense, a new alternative uniform, — and now we know how the Pacers schedule looks for the upcoming 2015-16 season.

The schedule, as created by the NBA, has the Pacers opening the season Oct. 28 across the border in Toronto, where former Pacer Luis Scola now plays. They will then return home against a very formidable Western Conference team, the Memphis Grizzlies, on Thursday to complete their first set of back-to-back games.

In addition to the Oct. 29 date being the home opener, it is also the lone visit for a trio of Indiana guys: Zach Randolph, Courtney Lee, and Mike Conley.

The Pacers open training camp at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Tuesday, Sept. 29 and must finalize their opening night roster by Oct. 26. The Pacers’ preseason schedule will be released at a later date.

Cleveland at Chicago kicks off the season with their meeting on Oct. 27 at 8 p.m. ET on TNT. All-Star Weekend in Toronto will run from Feb. 12-14.

The Pacers currently have 16 players on roster, including eight new faces. Paul George looks forward to his a full season on the hardwood after a compound leg fracture cost him all but six games last season. And, the Pacers have three intriguing draft picks: Myles Turner, Rakeem Christmas, and Joe Young.

Pacers head coach Frank Vogel heads into his fifth full season as the Pacers head coach.

A breakdown of the Pacers 2015-16 schedule is below.

Back-to-Backs:

17, the same number as last season. They’ll have to begin and end their 2015-16 campaign.

They are one of eight teams fortunate not to play four games in five nights, and the Pacers are one of them.

From the NBA: As part of the schedule, the league’s total number of four games in five nights has been cut by more than 60 percent, dropping from 70 such instances in 2014-15 to 27 for 2015-16.  In addition, the team average for back-to-back games has been trimmed from 19.3 last season to 17.8 this season.

Notable Home Games:

  • Feb. 1, Apr. 6 — LeBron James, Cavaliers
  • Dec. 8 — 2015 Champs, Warriors
  • Mar. 19 — Kevin Durant, Thunder
  • Feb. 8 — Roy Hibbert and potentially Kobe Bryant’s last visit, Lakers
  • Mar. 7 — David West, Spurs
  • Jan. 26 — Lance Stephenson, Clippers
  • Nov. 13 — Damjan Rudež, Timberwolves
  • Nov. 4, Mar. 15 — Brad Stevens, Celtics
  • Nov. 9, Mar. 31 — Victor Oladipo, Magic
  • Feb. 10, Feb. 26 — Cody Zeller, Charlotte
  • Feb. 28 — Noah Vonleh, Trail Blazers
  • Oct. 31 — Gordon Hayward and Trey Lyles, Jazz
  • Mar. 24 — Eric Gordon, Pelicans
  • Nov. 21, Dec. 31 — Chris Copeland and Miles Plumlee, Bucks
  • Jan. 30 — Gary Harris, Nuggets

Holiday Games:

One.

Before the ball drops in New York, the Pacers host Chris Copeland and the Milwaukee Bucks. That’s scheduled to tip at 6 p.m. ET.

There are five games scheduled for Christmas Day, but the Pacers are not included. (They play the day after in Minnesota.)

They also have Martin Luther King, Jr. Day off, which is unusual. The Pacers had been a regular playing a matinee game on that day. In fact, they have played on MLK Jr. Day four times over the last five years, including last season at Houston.

(Last year: New Year’s Eve; Martin Luther King, Jr. Day)

National TV:

12 appearances.

Seven on ESPN: vs. Miami, Nov. 6; vs. Miami, Dec. 11; at Boston, Jan. 13; at Golden State, Jan. 22; at Atlanta, Feb. 5; at Oklahoma City, Feb. 19; and vs. Cleveland, Apr. 6.

Five on NBA TV: vs. Milwaukee, Nov. 21; at Miami, Jan. 4; at Cleveland, Feb. 29; at Atlanta, Mar. 13 and vs. New Orleans, Mar. 24.

(Last year: Eight, including three on NBA TV.)

Road Trips:

Pacers have four sets of four-game road trips scheduled. One at the end of the first month, two in January, and one to start March.

Nov. 29 – Dec. 5: Lakers, Clippers, Trail Blazers, Jazz
Jan. 4 – Jan. 10: Heat, Magic, Pelicans, Rockets
Jan. 17 – Jan. 23: Nuggets, Suns, Warriors, Kings
Feb. 29 – Mar. 5: Cavaliers, Bucks, Hornets, Wizards

Nine of 15 games in January are away from Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

(Last Year: 27 of their first 46 games were on the road, including 10 of 16 in January.)

Homestands:

The Pacers have two stretches where they play four games or more at home. Five times they play three or more consecutive homes games.

Jan. 26 – Feb. 1: Clippers, Hawks, Nuggets, Cavaliers.
Mar. 15 – Mar. 24: Celtics, Raptors, Thunder, 76ers, Pelicans.

(Last year: Five games, and seven of eight to open March)

Games by the Day:

Sunday: 10
Monday: 12
Tuesday: 8
Wednesday: 16
Thursday: 7
Friday: 13
Saturday: 15

Close to the Regular Season:

The Pacers have a favorable final month of the season, playing 11 of their last 16 at home. And, in the same fashion as last season, they play two games at home before closing out the year out of town — this season up in Milwaukee, a Central Division foe.

(Last year: vs. Oklahoma City, vs. Washington, at Memphis)

Pacers 2015-16 schedule

[Pacers’ schedule from last year, the 2014-15 season]

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