|The Pacers and Heat in their alternates|
On top of that, alternates don’t fit the occasion of the playoffs. Playoff games are distinctive – maybe not as much as in the NFL or other postseasons with fewer games, but they’re uniquely important nonetheless. It seems right to wear primaries – the uniforms that are essential for every team and are worn the most during the regular season – at such times.
In the case of the Pacers, who have worn all three of their uniforms this postseason, their movement towards their alternate could be connected to their gold-clad fans. Hopefully the decision to wear gold wasn’t dictated by a desire to have the players match the colour of the crowd, whose giveaway shirts were understandably gold, which is more distinctive than blue or white. But the Pacers have also worn gold on the road these playoffs, so maybe they’re just fond of it.