Indiana Pacers vs Boston Celtics

The Indiana Pacers and the Boston Celtics put together a 90s-esque, defensive battle in Game 1 of the NBA Playoffs. They'll meet again to try and push the tempo on Wednesday, April 17th at 7:00 PM EST at TD Garden in Boston, MA. Broadcast is available on TNT.

How to Watch

What: Indiana Pacers at Boston Celtics, Game 2

Where: TD Garden in Boston, MA

When: Wednesday, April 17th at 7:00 PM EST

How (TV): TNT

Series Standing: 0-1 BOS

Indiana Pacers (Away)

Head Coach: Nate McMillan {All-Time 616-560 | SEA, POR, IND}

Season Record: 48-34, 5th in the East

Projected Starting Five: (G) Darren Collison - (G) Wes Matthews - (F) Bojan Bogdanovic - (F) Thaddeus Young - (C) Myles Turner

The Indiana Pacers may be missing their biggest star, but they certainly haven't dropped any of their offensive or defensive principals in their first post-season performance.

They unfortunately fell to the Celtics in Game 1, mostly due to anemic shooting performances across the board.

The Pacers will likely look to up the tempo in a bid to overcome the Celtics' hard-pressing defence.

Boston Celtics (Home)

Head Coach: Brad Stevens {All-Time 270-222 | BOS}

Season Record: 49-33, 4th in the East

Projected Starting Five: (G) Kyrie Irving - (G) Jaylen Brown - (F) Jayson Tatum - (F) Marcus Morris - (C) Al Horford

The Boston Celtics took Game 1 in classic Boston fashion. By taking their opponent out of their game entirely.

Boston slowed the Pacers in transition and forced them into difficult shots all game. They also received impressive production from the likes of Kyrie Irving, Jayson Tatum, and bench player Marcus Morris.

Neither team shot the ball well, so expect a more up-tempo match in Game 2 to get their struggling players going.

What's At Stake?

The Celtics and Pacers are two classic Eastern Conference rivals and two of the oldest squads in the league. In 177 games, the Celtics lead the Pacers 98-79.

These teams have met in the Eastern Conference Playoffs before, five times. It is a close all-time playoff series, led by the Celtics 3-2.

The Indiana Pacers want to tie up the series before heading back home for a two-game stand.

The Celtics want to continue to refine their game while going into Indianapolis with a two game lead.

The Pacers Need to Adjust Their Offence

Known for a particularly deliberate and disciplined offensive system, Nate McMillan's Indiana Pacers struggled against the Boston Celtics. Their difficulty was particularly evident in the pick-and-roll.

With the presence of both Aron Baynes and Al Horford in the paint, the Pacers struggled to decide on their attack. With Baynes dropping into the paint, the duo of Sabonis and Turner struggled to decide on their post-screen action.

With such size in the paint for the Celtics, the Pacers were intimidated which forced Turner and Sabonis out to the three-point line too often. If the Pacers want to succeed, they will need to be more forceful attacking the paint.

The Boston Celtics Are Happy to Win Ugly

All jokes aside, the Boston Celtics aren't the side they once were in the 2018 NBA Playoffs. Agendas are abound and the Boston players themselves haven't bought into the system that was successful for Stevens last year.

Despite that, their hard-nosed defensive effort is still slowing down their opposition.   Despite shooting just 36% from the field and committing 17 turnovers, the Boston Celtics defeated the Pacers by 10 points.

The Indiana Pacers played the Celtics as tough as they played them. A few shots the other way and the Boston Celtics could've been on the losing end of this result. They won't take that reality for granted in Game 2.

The Focus Is On Bogdanovic

Bojan Bogdanovic is the Pacers' most talented offensive options with Victor Oladipo out of the lineup. The Celtics adjusted for him in Game 1, forcing him into a difficult night.

The Celtics chased Bogdanovic on the hip around screens on the perimeter and loaded defensive responsibilities on to him when he got into the paint. There wasn't a time when Bogdanovic wasn't covered by multiple sliding defenders.

The Pacers were hesitant in their offense, but with the focus on Bogdanovic they can't afford to be indecisive. They need to optimize their offensive possessions if they hope to take Game 2 from the Celtics.

Can the Celtics Keep the Pacers in the Mid-Range?

The Indiana Pacers are masters of crafting the optimal shot for themselves. The Boston Celtics countered their tactics effectively, leading to their Game 1 victory.

By challenging hard over the screen, the Celtics forced the Pacers into the mid-range. Boston forced Indiana into 6-28 mid-range shooting, to go with a shocking 6-27 clip from three.

Credit is due to the Celtics' plan, but coach Brad Stevens admitted that Indiana just missed some easy shots in their first match. Indiana is too skilled to not overcome such swarming tactics, so the Celtics will have to adjust on the fly.

Indiana Pacers Roster Notes

G Victor Oladipo - 12 Mar 2019 - Out For Season (Ruptured Right Quadricep Tendon) - Oladipo is now able to walk after having surgery on Jan 28 to repair a ruptured quad tendon in his right knee. It is still uncertain when he will be able to return.

Boston Celtics Roster Notes

G Marcus Smart - 10 Apr 2019 - Out (Oblique) - Smart suffered a torn oblique and could be sidelined for the first two rounds of playoffs according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

X-Factors: Tyreke Evans (IND) vs Terry Rozier (BOS)

Two of the NBA's best off of the bench face off when Tyreke Evans and Terry Rozier step on the court for Game 2. Both of these dynamic guards failed to make an impact in Game 1, so improvements are expected by both organizations.

Tyreke Evans

Shooting Guard | 6-6, 220lb (198cm, 99kg) | Memphis | Exp. 9 Years

10.2 PPG | 2.4 APG | 2.9 RPG | 0.8 SPG | 0.3 BPG | 1.7 TOV | .389 FG% | .356 3P%

The former Rookie of the Year may not have followed the career trajectory many expected, but he is still one of the NBA's most dynamic players off of the bench.

Evans was almost invisible in his 17 minutes on the court. He had 8 points and 6 rebounds, but shot a paltry 3-11 from the field in the game.

The athletic point-forward needs to make more of an impact for the Pacers if they hope to overcome the Celtics. They face a stout defense, which Evans needs to exploit with his size and creativity.

Terry Rozier

Point Guard | 6-1, 190lb (185cm, 86kg) | Louisville | Exp. 3 Years

9.0 PPG | 2.9 APG | 3.9 RPG | 0.9 SPG | 0.3 BPG | 0.9 TOV | .387 FG% | .353 3P%

When was the last time Scary Terry stepped on the court? Instead of his intimidating alter-ego, Terry Rozier has been quiet to close out the season and into Game 1 of the playoffs.

In Game 1 Rozier posted 5 points and 5 rebounds on 1-6 shooting from the field in 18 minutes of play.

The Celtics won by ten, but if Rozier can summon some of his past production off of the bench, the Celtics would be able to overcome the Pacers in much more decided fashion.

Indiana Pacers at Boston Celtics Predictions and Odds

Do you want the best odds? Place a bet here, if you reside in New Jersey:

Sportsbook Indiana Pacers Boston Celtics Link
888Sport NJ +275 -345
BetStars NJ +260 -333

* 21+ | NJ only | If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER

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