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How we see it goin’ down: Celtics vs. Pacers

Sebastian Lena March 6, 2013 Gametime, Previews 25 Comments

Tip: 7PM     Court: Bankers Life Fieldhouse    Watch it: CSNNE    Hear it: WEEI

Referees:  Rodney Mott, Brian Forte and Mark Lindsay

Boston Celtics Tickets

The Matchup

Record: 32-27 Record: 38-22
On road: 11-18 At home: 25-6
Streak: Won 3 Streak: Won 2

Leaders Leaders
Buckets: Pierce (18.6 ppg) Buckets: David West (17.7 ppg)
Boards: Garnett (7.8 rpg) Boards: Roy Hibbert (8.0 rpg)
Dimes: Pierce (4.6 apg) Dimes: George Hill (4.9 apg)

For the Stat Geeks: For the Stat Geeks:
Offensive Rating: 102.6 (24th NBA) Offensive Rating: 103.6 (20th NBA)
Defensive Rating: 102.2 (6th NBA) Defensive Rating: 98.8 (1st NBA)
Pace: 91.5 (18th NBA) Pace: 89.8 (27th NBA)

Last time

The Boston Celtics began their season turnaround with a 94-75 drubbing of the Indiana Pacers. Rajon Rondo (18 pts, 7 asts, 5 rebs) and Kevin Garnett (18 pts, 7 rebs) led the charge for the Celtics.

This time

Get it to:  Avery Bradley

We all remember Bradley as the defensive spark plug who could also score at will during the tail end of last season. In 15 games in April, the 22-year-old averaged 15.1 points per game on 52% shooting from the field and 54.5% from three-point range.

While he has struggled since returning from offseason surgery, Bradley is finally starting to return to his prior form.

Over his last three games, Bradley is averaging 16 points, 4 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game. He’s also shot 21-of-33 (63.6%) from the field and 5-of-9 (55.5%) from distance.

Coming off his best performance of the season against the Philadelphia 76ers last night—22 pts (10-of-15), 7 rebs and 5 assists—Bradley seems to be finally turning the corner.

Gotta stop:  David West

After a rather disappointing first season with the Pacers, West is finally starting to play at the level many expected. Through 59 games, he’s averaging 17.7 points and 7.6 rebounds over 33.4 minutes per game.

But lately, West has been on a complete tear.

Over his last four games, West has averaged 24 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game. He’s shot 57.6 percent from the field during that span.

West is coming off a 31-point performance against the Chicago Bulls on Sunday and will be hungry for more.

Brandon Bass will have to be on his A-game tonight.

The Wild Card:  Battle in the paint

While Boston is seen as one of the worst rebounding teams in the league—No. 28 in the NBA—Indiana is the best by a solid margin.

That can only mean bad news for the Celtics down low.

Throughout the season, Boston has given away second chance after second chance to opponents. That’s something it can’t afford to do against a Pacers team that ranks No. 5 in the league in offensive rebounds with 12.8 per game.

On the positive side, Indiana only ranks No. 23 in points in the paint with just 38.9 per game. However, the Celtics rank No. 17 in opponent points in the paint, allowing 42.5 per game. They’ve allowed 48.7 points in the paint per game over their last three games.

With this likely being a very tightly contest game—both teams rank in the top 10 in scoring defense—Boston cannot afford to give up easy buckets down low.

How we see it goin’ down

I’ve tried and tried, but I just don’t see any way the Celtics can pull this one out.

It’s on the road—Boston is 4-7 in its last 11 away games—the Pacer’s are hot—winners of 7 of their last 8—and then there’s this interesting tidbit: The Celtics haven’t swept a back-to-back on the road since last April.

Silver lining? There isn’t one.

Then again, Boston was a heavy underdog in the previous meeting between these two and they won by nearly 20 points.

However, I just don’t see that happening again (let’s hope I’m wrong).

Celtics 81

Pacers 89

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  • GreenbirdCro

    Love them, but I have to agree
    Maybe when I wake tomorrow morning I’ll see they proved me wrong
    So for now I just hope they come out of it healthy, not to tired or pessimistic

    • London wins

      The game starts at 7:00, what time do you go to bed?

      • GreenbirdCro

        I’ll catch the first quarter if I’m lucky. I have to wake up super early so I get to bed early. Usually asleep by 7 or 7:30 & up by 6 or 6:30 at the latest.

        • KWAPT

          Hope to see you at the party Sunday Greenbird-I live in Brighton and could possibly swing through to get you in Brookline if you need a ride. Starts at 1pm. Email me at Celtkicks@RedsArmy.com if you want to go!

      • Effect741

        Game is on 3AM in my country(Celtics fan here from Lithuania)

        • $tephanie95

          I’m inviting you to a celtics game. If you can get to Boston the game and a place to stay are on me. Let me know?

      • GreenbirdCro

        Dear London, John & Chuck!
        First off – I am a Celtics fan from Croatia (Zagreb)! And I’ve been their fan all of my life. Or to be exact since 1989 (I was born in mid 70s).
        I guess that clears the issue of going to sleep b4 games, see CET on google/wiki…
        Second, everyone who wants to leave a comment here needs to put in their nick and mail address. Therefore, I call upon John & Chuck to impose some kind of sanctions against that @sshole that answered your Q and continued to use my nick. For moderators it is easy thing to confirm my 79323pi@gmail.com address. So, there you go! This and the first comment are MINE, the rest is of unknown mf…Ban his @ss from here!!!
        Truly mad!

        • Chuck – Red’s Army

          I’ve removed the comments.

          Message to our readers – Is there any value in imitating another reader? It’s flat out silly that I have to address this matter.

          • GreenbirdCro

            Thanks Chuck!
            I agree. I prefer you use your time here to bring new and interesting reading material (and not to deal with such BS)
            Incredible…

  • KGino

    Silver Lining: The Pacers start George Hill at PG.. advantage AB. If our stars show up and Bass can hold his own in the paint, I like our chances.

  • Efrain Ramos

    Why is game not on national television? :(

  • KWAPT

    Tonight would be a great night for Crawford to play with reckless abandon and put up 25-30. Only prob is if he misses a bunch of shots, Pacers will feast in transition. Anyways he & TWill combined for 23 mins so I’d be shocked if we don’t see a big helping of either or both of them..

  • $tephanie95

    I’m going to agree (but hope that I’m wrong). They can not be reckless with the ball like they were last night or the game is OVER.

  • mrchumpy

    Does Brandon Bass HAVE an “A-game”?

  • eddysamson

    This is going to be one of those games that you can’t really call a winner…Its going to be a close one I am guessing.

  • Larry Legend

    “I don’t see any way the Celts can pull this one out…” are you serious?!! Ridiculous…tough game? Yeah. Pacers a good team? Yeah. Celts have no chance? Cmon man… People act like the Pacers are the ’90 Pistons on this site!! My god…get a grip. Ridiculous. I promise ya, the Celtics expect to win tonight and so do I.

  • http://mrcuret.wordpress.com mrcuret

    I think it’s a good time to see what D.J. White has, I saw some highlights of him & he looks pretty decent. Besides, it couldn’t be worse than playing Bass.

  • Ben

    Hello fellow C’s fans,

    If you have a few minutes and wouldn’t mind completing this short survey it would be a tremendous help in completing my master’s thesis. It deals w/ watching sporting events at home.

    https://snhu.qualtrics.com//SE/?SID=SV_exrMJX31lz9Z5Nr

    Thanks so much!

    • Gggdh

      That was an extremely long servey and I couldn’t read it. Try it yourself before using it on other people

  • KGino

    for those of you who can’t watch the game — free online stream I’m watching right now: http://www.firstrow1.eu/watch/173103/2/watch-indiana-pacers-vs-boston-celtics.html

  • KGino

    for those of you who can’t watch the game — free online stream I’m watching right now: http://www.firstrow1.eu/watch/173103/2/watch-indiana-pacers-vs-boston-celtics.html

  • Josh

    I much prefer predictions to be wrong in this direction!

  • http://celticsforever.blogspot.com/ celticsforever

    Nice win Celtics, wrong prediction. tough tough game! Though Pierce seems to be Turn over prone, love to see him smiling before that play that won the game.

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  • http://CelticBlog.com thirstyboots18

    ha ha ha…evidently time for a vision check…