Wednesday, 26 June, 2019

Celtics vs. Pacers prediction: IN has shot to steal Game 1

Celtics unlucky with 2019 NBA draft pick tiebreakers Celtics unlucky with 2019 NBA draft pick tiebreakers
Shannon Reynolds | 16 April, 2019, 12:13

The C's blew the Pacers off the floor from start to finish in the third, outscoring in 26-8.

After failing to make even one-third of their shots in the first half while falling behind 45-38, the fourth-seeded Celtics became a defensive force in the third quarter.

Much was made after the game about Boston's defense in the second half as a whole - especially that third quarter - after in forgot how to score.

Defensively, the Pacers held Boston to its lowest point total of the season, limiting the Celtics to just 36.4 percent shooting. The Celtics did fall 11 points behind early, but this game never felt entirely out of reach until it was Boston in control. During that span, Boston's starters shot 3 for 7 from the field and turned the ball over four times. Not surprisingly, the second-half numbers - 3-for-18 from the field and 0-for-8 from 3-point range - were far, far worse.

- Celtics flip the game in the third quarter.

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"I thought we kind of lost our way", McMillan said. The good news, if you want to spin it that way, is that Boston got all the open looks they wanted. While it's just one game, the Boston Celtics seem to be playing with that pep in their step again, and they're one of the scariest teams in the league when playing to their full potential.

When Bogdanovic was asked about the incident following Indiana's practice on Monday (Brad Stevens and the Celtics took the day off), he downplayed the incident as nothing more than what typically happens in the heat of a playoff battle. "And it just doesn't have to be on the offensive end". With how familiar these teams are with each other, having played five times already this season, the Pacers will be sure to make adjustments and get back after it in Game 2, trying to steal one on the road. "It's not so much about scoring as it is about the attitude coming in and really just throwing himself into the game".

"He's a very good 3-point shooter, we know that, " Pacers forward Thaddeus Young said. Kyrie Irving, Jayson Tatum, and Jaylen Brown combined for just 14 points on 6-for-17 (35.3 percent) shooting in the first half, so someone had to pick up the scoring slack or it was going to get ugly.

While you can totally win games with defense, I'd like to see Boston hit some shots in Game 2. The Celtics pulled ahead and stayed ahead, something I don't remember them doing all year, save a 56 point win in Chicago.

But given how things started in Toronto and Philadelphia this weekend, the Celtics will take a win and a lead over the alternative.

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