Celtics (21-5) vs Pacers (9-17)
Game time: 7:30m, TD Garden. TV – CSN. Radio – WEEI-AM (850).
Bos: Pierce – 18.1 Pacers: Mike Dunleavy – 14.0
Bos: Perkins – 8.0 Pacers: Troy Murphy – 9.2
Bos: Rondo – 9.7 Pacers: T.J. Ford – 3.7
Who'll go off: Paul Pierce. Let's ride the hot hand, especially when he's going up against Mike Dunleavy.
Who needs to be stopped: Without Danny Granger (foot injury), the Pacers are lacking firepower. Dunleavy may be their leading scorer, but I'd prefer the Celtics target Troy Murphy. Keep him off the offensive boards, and don't sleep on him on the perimeter because he can nail the 3.
The C's will lose if… There's no chance the Celtics will lose. Yes, Indiana beat Boston in their first match-up this season, but that was with Granger on the court, Dahntay Jones playing out of his mind and the team shooting 53%. It will take a Christmas Miracle for Indiana to win at the Garden.
Wildcard: There should be some fatigue on the Pacers side, as they're coming off an 84-81 loss to the Bucks last night. The Perk vs Roy Hibbert match-up will be fun to watch.
Prediction: Celtics 106 – Pacers 87