The triumphant return of Paul George has made Indiana Pacers relevant this season, as they are looking like legitimate threats to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Eastern Conference supremacy.
Tuesday's 131-123 loss to the Golden State Warriors earned a 6.4 household rating, the highest rating for a regular-season Pacers game on FOX Sports Indiana since April 11, 2014, when the Pacers played the LeBron James-led Miami Heat on the road, according to the Pacers.
This season, Pacers ratings on FOX Sports Indiana are up 22 percent to a 3.4 household rating, which would be the second-best season in the last decade (after 2013-14). That, of course, was the last time the Pacers were contending, and George's star was on the rise. Now, he's arguably a top-5 player, if not better.
At 12-8, the Pacers currently are tied for fourth place in the East. George is averaging 27.9 points per game in a more uptempo system that saw the Pacers win 12 of 14 games after an 0-3 start. These Pacers may not be as good as the 2014 team, but it's probably too early to tell.