Celtics vs Pacers 2019 Playoff Preview

With the regular season wrapped up for the Celtics, Boston is staring at a first-round matchup with the Indiana Pacers. These two teams only played each other four times throughout the regular season. The Celtics won three out of the four games.

The Indiana Pacers are an intriguing team. They were one of the hottest teams in the NBA until their star player Victor Olindipo went down with a season-ending injury. However, since then the team rallied and stayed afloat. Their leading scorer is their small forward Bogan Bogdanovic who averages 18 points per game. Bogdanovic is a sharpshooter who hits 42.5% of his shots from beyond the arc. Look for point guard Darren Collison to control the tempo of this young squad. Collison dishes out 6.1 assists per game. Center Miles Turner, Power Forward Thaddeus Young, and Shooting Gaurd Wesley Matthews round out the starting lineup. Key Pacers bench players include Power Forward, Domantas Sabonis who averages 14.1 points per game. Small Forward Doug McDermott also makes key contributions to this team. Overall, this Indian Pacers team has the best defense in the NBA surrendering 104.3 points per game. On the flip side, the Pacers tend to struggle on offense, scoring 107.7 per game (22nd in the NBA).

The Boston Celtics have also had an interesting season. Going into this season, everyone expected the Celtics to be atop the Eastern Conference standings. As we know now, the Celtics struggled all season long and never really took control of the East. The team has struggled to find its true identity. The Celtics are lead by veteran Point Guard Kyrie Irving who averages 23.8 points per game. Not only does Kyrie Irving have a ton of playoff experience, but he’s also an NBA Champion. Irving also leads the team with 6.9 assists per game. After that, it’s tough to say who’s the second best player on this team. The most consistent player would be Al Horford, but Jayson Tatum has the capability of taking over games. Ideally Center Aron Baynes and Point Guard Marcus Smart will fill out the rest of the starting lineup. However, Marcus Smart is dealing with a strained oblique and Jayson Tatum is dealing with a shin contusion.

As I stated before the Celtics won three out of the four games against the Pacers this season. Not only did they win these games, but the Celtics won these games pretty comfortably. The Pacers have limped to the finish line losing seven of their last ten games. Indiana does have the defense to win games and the big men to hurt the Celtics in the post. However, in the end, I don’t think the Pacers can stop Kyrie Irving. Kyrie is going to show up big time in this first round. Brad Stevens will draw up the perfect game plan for this series, showing us how good of a coach he truly is.

Prediction: Celtics win series in 5 games

Connor Strayer (CouchGuyBigC)

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