INDIANAPOLIS - The spoils of a successful rebuilding campaign are as good as gold.
At least that what it seemed like Thursday morning, when members of the Pacers and Bankers Life Fieldhouse staff placed a gold t-shirt on every one of the nearly 18,000 seats of the venue.
Most of the fans figure to be wearing it come 7 P.M., when the Pacers tip off arguably their biggest home game in seven years when they face the Heat in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference semi-final series.
"It should be fun," said Pacers forward David West, who saw the people putting the yellow shirts on the seats during the Pacers' shootaround Thursday morning. "There should be great energy in the building and again its up to us to come out and execute, play the game the right way.
"Hopefully we'll have some success."
The Pacers already have in the best-of-seven series with Miami, who came in as the heavy favorite for the series and Eastern Conference titles. On Tuesday the Pacers held strong on the defensive end in the final minutes to pull out a 78-75 win in Game 2 of the series at American Airlines Arena.
Perhaps it will help to keep the home floor advantage in the Pacers' favor, considering that past games against the Heat have brought a multitude of red-clad fans to Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
"Early in the year it was a lot of ketchup everywhere, so hopefully more mustard than ketchup today," said guard George Hill, referring to the colors worn by the team's fans.
As for the Heat, who have taken criticism nationally for their performance down the stretch in Game 2, they say they're ready for whatever the gold out has to offer.
"Their fans are excited about the post season," said Heat forward Lebron James. "But for us it's not like we've seen it before."Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times