The NBA is set up with another great Friday night of basketball. Nine games are up on the board throughout February 26. One of these games will be between the Indiana Pacers and the Boston Celtics. These two teams have had solid starts to this season and will look for a big win on Friday night. This game will tip off at around 7:30 PM Eastern time on ESPN.
The Pacers have earned a record of 15-15 to this point in the season, which has them sitting in fourth place of the Eastern Conference. Indiana has is coming off a loss in their last game, but have won three of their last five. The Pacers will look to keep up their recent success with a much needed win in this one. I expect Indiana to come out quickly in this one as they try to knock off their rival.
Boston has posted a record of 15-17 throughout this season, which has them in eighth place of the Eastern Conference. The Celtics have lost three straight games and four of their last five. Boston is tied with the New York Knicks and the Miami Heat, but will look to avoid falling behind them. The Celtics will look to get back on track with a win in this one.
These two teams are in the playoff race in the Eastern Conference. The Pacers have been slightly better this season after Boston has hit a bit of a wall as of late. The Celtics could use a win in this one to get their confidence up. I expect both teams to come out quickly in this one as they both could use a big win on Friday night.
The Pacers and the Celtics met up twice throughout last season. Indiana hosted the first game on December 11. Kemba Walker dropped 44 points on the night, but it was not enough for Boston. Malcolm Brogdon finished with 29 points, while Aaron Holiday scored 18 points off the bench. The Pacers were able to finish with a 122-117 win at home.
The second game of the season series stayed in Indiana on March 10. Domantas Sabonis finished with 28 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists, while Victor Oladipo dropped 27 points. It was not enough though. Jayson Tatum scored 30 points and Gordan Hayward put up 27 points and 10 rebounds. Daniel Theis finished with 20 points as the Celtics grabbed a 114-111 win on the road.
The first game of this season’s series shifted to Indiana on December 27. Jayson Tatum dropped 25 points and 11 rebounds, but the Celtics could not finish with a win. Malcolm Brogdon scored 25 points, while Domantas Sabonis finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds on the night. The Pacers were able to walk away with a 108-107 win on the night.
The most recent game stayed in Indiana on December 29. Victor Oladipo scored 24 points and the Pacers starting lineup combined for 90 points. It was not enough for the win though. Jayson Tatum scored 27 points and 11 rebounds for the Celtics. Jaylen Brown dropped 20 points to help lead Boston to a nice 116-111 win on the road.
Field Goal Shooting
Indiana has been solid shooting the ball from the field so far this season. The Pacers have been able to drain 47.4 percent of their shots from the field, which is 11th in the NBA. Indiana is shooting 36.7 percent from behind the arc, which is 13th in the league. The Pacers have been able to make around 77.6 percent of their shots from the charity stripe, which is 19th in the NBA.
The Celtics have been around middle of the league shooting this season. Boston has shot around 46.2 percent from the field this season, which is 17th in the league. The Celtics have made around 36.7 percent of their shots from deep, which is 13th in the NBA. Boston has been able to sink 76.4 percent of their shots from the free throw line, which is 21st in the league.
The Pacers have been slightly better shooting from the field this season. Indiana has also been better on defense. The Pacers have held their opponents to a 45.9 percent shooting percentage from the field, which is 10th in the NBA. Boston has allowed opposing teams to shoot 47 percent from the field, which is 20th in the league. The Celtics will need to step up on defense if they want to end this losing streak.
Malcolm Brogdon and Domantas Sabonis have helped lead the Pacers so far this season. Brogdon is averaging 21.5 points per game. Sabonis has averaged 21.5 points and 11.5 rebounds per game. Myles Turner is averaging 13.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. Doug McDermott has averaged 13 points, while Jeremy Lamb is averaging 12 points per game. Justin Holiday has averaged 11.5 points to round out the lineup.
Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown have been the leaders for Boston to this point in the season. Tatum has averaged 25.5 points and 7 rebounds per game. Brown is averaging 25.5 points per game as well. Kemba Walker has averaged 17.5 points per game so far. The Celtics are without Marcus Smart, who is averaging 13 points per game.
These two teams have been solid to this point in the season with their leaders. Indiana has had much more help from their depth so far this season. The Pacers will look for their depth to give them a big edge over the Celtics. Boston will need some players to step up if they want to grab the win, especially with Smart out of the lineup.
The Celtics are entering this matchup on a tough losing streak. I think that Boston will come out hotter in this one. If the Celtics can have some players step up to support Brown and Tatum, it could help lead Boston to the win. Indiana has been strong this season, but I think they will have a tough time on the road in this one.
BetOnline has the Celtics listed as a -3 against the spread in this one. This gives a slight edge to Boston on Friday night. I agree with this line as the Celtics are finally back at home against Indiana. The Pacers have hosted the last four games against Boston. I think that the Celtics will come out with a chip on their shoulder to end this losing streak.