Boston at Indiana
6:00 P.M. ET
Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Boston: 100.1 points/100 possessions (T-22nd)
Indiana: 102.7 points/100 possessions (16th)
Boston: 101.7 points allowed/100 possessions (T-12th)
Indiana: 94.2 points allowed/100 possessions (1st)
Probable Pacers Starters:
George Hill (PG), Lance Stephenson (SG), Paul George (SF), David West (PF) & Roy Hibbert (C)
View From The Opposing Bench: 8 Points, 9 Seconds
Thumbnail: Interestingly, for the second time in a week, the Celtics have a rematch exactly one month later. First, it was the November 16 and December 16 matchups with the Timberwolves and just six days later, Brad Stevens travels with his team to where he was raised. He grew up just 20 minutes outside of Indianapolis and wore No. 31 because of Reggie Miller. In Stevens’ homecoming, he and the Celtics are running into a buzz saw.
Frank Vogel’s Pacers are on pace to have the NBA’s best defensive efficiency for the second consecutive season. In addition, they own the league’s largest point differential and have begun a season 21-5 for the first time in franchise history. However, after encountering only one loss in all of November, the Pacers have already dropped four games in December, including their first home loss of the season at the hands of the Pistons.
Still, it will take a superior, 48-MINUTE (not 12-minute, not 18-minute…) EFFORT for the Celtics to take down Indiana at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse. While the men in green have won their last two meetings in Indianapolis, the four teams to beat the Pacers over the last three weeks have a combined record of 78-31.
It will be difficult for the Celtics’ big men to keep up their success with Roy Hibbert in the middle. He and the rest of the Pacers have kept opponents to a league-worst 53.2 percent shooting from fewer than five feet this season. Both Jared Sullinger and Brandon Bass registered double-doubles on Saturday, but it will be difficult for them to duplicate that performance.
Prediction: The Celtics make it tough on the Pacers, but cannot get their third straight victory in Indiana.
Pacers 99, Celtics 94
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