Tip: 8PM Court: TD Garden Watch it: CSNNE Hear it: WEEI
Referees: James Capers, Courtney Kirkland and Marat Kogut
swept split the season series (2-2) last year with Indiana. Paul Pierce dropped 28 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists in the 94-87 victory last January. The C’s won again in Indiana, 86-72, in April. Boston was led by Greg Steimsma’s 10 points, 9 rebounds and 5 blocks in that one.
Get it to: The open man
The Pacers rank #1 in defensive efficiency and #2 in points allowed. It will take a team effort from the Celtics to win, not “hero ball.” As Chris Forsberg points out, the Pacers are “susceptible to pick-and-roll ball-handlers and cutters.” That’s you, Rajon Rondo and Avery Bradley.
Gotta stop: Paul George
With Danny Granger sidelined (knee), Paul George is the man in Indiana. He’s averaging 19 ppg and 8 rpg over the past 11 games, and Indiana is 9-2 during that stretch. I’m terrified at the thought of watching Paul Pierce guard him.
The Wild Card: Doc Rivers
Danny Ainge said it’s likely that Doc will tweak the lineup. Whether that means starting Brandon Bass, Jared Sullinger or Jeff Green, I really don’t know. Doc is obviously frustrated and knows SOMETHING needs to change. Why not start with personnel?
How we see it goin’ down
From the Stats LLC game preview:
Boston has been outscored by an average of 19.7 points in losing its last four games, and has dropped eight of 10 overall to fall three games under .500 this late into a season for the first time since 2006-07.
Boston’s slide has been partly due to defensive struggles, allowing opponents to average 104.5 points and make 50.5 percent from the floor — including 48.3 from behind the arc.
How on earth could I pick the Celtics to win?