Indiana Pacers vs Boston Celtics: Predictions, Odds and Roster Notes

How to Watch

What: Indiana Pacers at Boston Celtics

Where: TD Garden in Boston, MA

When: Sunday, April 14th at 1:00 PM EST

How (TV): TNT

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 are an incredibly disciplined team, as evidenced by their performance after star guard Victor Oladipo went down. The Pacers were 16-17 after Oladipo went down, leading them to fifth in the East.

The Pacers were in it tough to close out the season, but their early season lead helped them to secure a place. They were 4-6 in their last ten, but were able to stave off the lesser competitors of the East.

The Pacers take on a Boston Celtics team that is experienced and frankly more talented. Indiana has proved to be capable though, suggesting their discipline on both ends shouldn’t be trifled with.

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

After being projected as the top team in the East, the Boston Celtics faltered when the pressure got tough. Despite their issues, they still won homecourt advantage for the first round of the playoffs.

The Celtics, despite their injuries, closed out the season strong. They finished 6-4 at the end of the schedule, but their concerns were mostly on their personal health.

The Boston Celtics take on a disciplined Indiana Pacers squad. From starting lineup to bench, the Pacers provide a consistent threat. The Boston Celtics are more talented overall, but the steadiness of the Pacers is something that the Celtics will need to be concerned about.

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.

Both teams look to get off to a good start to start the series.

The Pacers Need to Overcome Their Regular Season Issues

Specifically, with the Boston Celtics, the talent gap frustrated Indiana. While their team defense was excellent, cross-matchups hurt the Pacers in the half-court.

Some focus should be given to Thaddeus Young, a capable switch-defender but an average offensive option. During the regular season, the Celtics tended to leave Young to his devices in order to prioritize other players or congestion in the lane.

Young’s three-point shooting is up to 34% on the year, lower than the league average but respectable. If the offense can open up for the Pacers, their defense will surely make for a surprisingly competitive series.

Defense Is On the Mind of the Celtics

The Indiana Pacers run one of the most opportunistic and egalitarian offenses in the NBA. With Marcus Smart out of the lineup, the entirety of the Celtics needs to step up in order to take a game from them.

The eyes are on Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, two young players who can certainly impact the defensive end but haven’t been asked to step into it as a full-time role.

While the Pacers don’t play with an isolationist nature, players like Bogdanovic and Collison will demand extra defensive attention.

Myles Turner Needs to Command the Paint

It will be a difficult matchup for Myles Turner, as he will be going head-to-head with one of the NBA’s premiere post defenders in Al Horford.

Turner has had a tough time against Boston this season. In three matches he is averaging 14 points and 8 rebounds on 52% from the floor and 63% from three. While his offensive efficiency is notable, it is mostly due to the diligence of Horford not allowing him the ball.

Turner needs to show the player he was against the Toronto Raptors years ago, where he was touted to be a future star. He is a skilled option off of the screen and will certainly need to contribute against this stout Boston defense.

It’s Time To Evaluate Hayward

It wasn’t long ago that Gordon Hayward signed on to a four-year, $128m deal. After recovering from a horrifying injury, Hayward is yet to find himself more than a role player for the Celtics.

$128 million is a lot to pay a bench contributor. It is even more considering the on-and-off nature of his play. While he gets some degree of sympathy due to his injury status, the Celtics can’t afford to let it limit them.

Hayward will have a short leash in this playoff series. If he can’t defend or show efficiency on offense, the Celtics have better specialists they can put on the floor in his stead. All eyes are on Hayward.

Indiana Pacers Roster Notes

F Thaddeus Young – 10 Apr 2019 – Day To Day (Undisclosed) – Young did not play in Wednesday’s (April 10) game.

C Myles Turner – 10 Apr 2019 – Day To Day (Undisclosed) – Turner did not play in Wednesday’s (April 10) game.

G Wes Matthews – 10 Apr 2019 – Day To Day (Toe) – Matthews did not play in Wednesday’s (Apr. 10) game.

F Bojan Bogdanovic – 10 Apr 2019 – Day To Day (Undisclosed) – Bogdanovic did not play in Wednesday’s (April 10) game.

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.

G Jayson Tatum – 8 Apr 2019 – Day To Day (Shin) – Tatum is listed as OUT for Tuesday’s (Apr. 9) game.

C Aron Baynes – 8 Apr 2019 – Day To Day (Ankle) – Baynes is listed as OUT for Tuesday’s (Apr. 9) game.

F Gordon Hayward – 8 Apr 2019 – Day To Day (Left ankle soreness) – Hayward is listed as OUT for Tuesday’s (Apr. 9) game.

C Al Horford – 8 Apr 2019 – Day To Day (Left knee soreness) – Horford is listed as OUT for Tuesday’s (Apr. 9) game.

G Kyrie Irving – 8 Apr 2019 – Day To Day (Knee) – Irving is listed as OUT for Tuesday’s (Apr. 9) game.

X-Factors: Bojan Bogdanovic (IND) vs Jayson Tatum (BOS)

Two lethal shooters are in the spotlight when the Pacers take on the Celtics. Bojan Bogdanovic has taken the starring role for the Pacers since Oladipo went down. On the other side, Tatum looks to replicate the playoff run of his rookie season.

Bojan Bogdanovic

Small Forward | 6-8, 216lb (203cm, 97kg) | Bosnia and Herzegovina | Exp. 4 Years

18.0 PPG | 2.0 APG | 4.1 RPG | 0.9 SPG | 0.0 BPG | 1.7 TOV | .497 FG% | .425 3P%

Bogdanovic is having the best season of his career. After coming into the league as a 25 year-old rookie, Bogey has improved to become a borderline All-Star in his fifth year in the league.

He is a deadly shooter who has maintained his efficiency despite his increased role. Bogdanovic will be leaned on heavily in this series.

He isn’t the strongest defender on the team, so the Pacers’ team defense makes up for him. Should the Celtics look to exploit him one-on-one, Indiana could be in trouble.

Jayson Tatum

Small Forward | 6-8, 208lb (203cm, 94kg) | Duke | Exp. 1 Years

15.7 PPG | 2.1 APG | 6.0 RPG | 1.1 SPG | 0.7 BPG | 1.5 TOV | .450 FG% | .373 3P%

Jayson Tatum burst onto the scene last season with his fantastic playoff performance. Few rookies played the way he did and the expectations were high for him.

Tatum may have fell short this season, but that’s only because his ceiling is considered to be so high. While not as efficient shooting the ball during the year, he looks to improve his run in the playoffs.

With Marcus Smart out, Tatum will not only have more of an offensive load to bear but more of a defensive burden. It hasn’t been his key role this year, so the results of his efforts may vary.

Indiana Pacers at Boston Celtics Predictions and Odds

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