The Boston Celtics take on the Indiana Pacers in their second consecutive 2020-21 NBA season game. The mini-series format has allowed teams to reduce travel through the season and means the two teams play again after an enthralling first game which went right down to the wire. The Indiana Pacers narrowly won the previous meeting by a solitary point.
In this article, we look at the combined starting five of both teams, excluding the players that are missing the game.
Boston Celtics vs Indiana Pacers Prediction: Combined Starting 5
The Indiana Pacers come into this game missing only one player. Edmond Summer is out with illness and is confirmed to miss the game against the Boston Celtics. For the Celtics, Tacko Fall is out along with Jeremy Lamb, Brian Bowen II, and Goga Bitadze. These players will not be included in the combined starting five.
Point Guard – Marcus Smart (Boston Celtics)
In a season where the Boston Celtics look to challenge for the NBA Championship, Marcus Smart will aim to replicate the kind of form that he showed throughout the 2019-20 NBA season. Marcus Smart averaged 14.5 points and 5.2 rebounds last time around, both career-high numbers.
The Boston Celtics are coming to this replay off a stuttering start and will be looking to get their playoff bid on track with a victory against the Indiana Pacers. Marcus Smart is one of the best defenders in the league, and will be leading the charge from the back for the Boston Celtics.
Shooting Guard – Jaylen Brown (Boston Celtics)
Jaylen Brown has shown consistent improvement on both ends of the court over the past few seasons. Now 24, Jaylen Brown is expected to take his game to the next level and become one of the top-tier shooting guards in the NBA.
In the 2019-20 NBA season, Jaylen Brown posted career-best numbers of 21.8 points, 1.5 steals, 2.3 assists and 7.5 rebounds. With Boston Celtics ready to challenge for the title again, this may finally be the year Jaylen Brown achieves All-Star status.
Small Forward – Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics)
Coming off his first NBA All-Star appearance, Jayson Tatum will be looking forward to the Boston Celtics’ game against the Indiana Pacers. Tatum averaged a career-high 23.4 points, .9 blocks, 1.4 steals, 3 assists and 7 rebounds per game last year.
Those numbers were his career-best in all categories, and Tatum is expected to further improve in the upcoming NBA season. He will be expected to lead the Boston Celtics to victory against the Indiana Pacers, after putting up 25 points in the previous defeat.
Power Forward – Domantas Sabonis (Indiana Pacers)
Another player coming into the 2020-21 NBA season on the back of his best-ever year is the Lithuanian-American International Domantas Sabonis. The center registered 18.5 points, .5 blocks, .8 steals, 5 assists and 12.4 rebounds per game last time around.
After registering a double-double in the last meeting between these two teams, Sabonis will be expected to lead the charge against the potential title contenders. However, the Boston Celtics have enough quality in their roster to overcome a defensively-weak Indiana Pacers.
Center – Tristan Thompson (Boston Celtics)
Tristan Thompson is a recent acquisition of the Boston Celtics and has looked solid since the beginning of the 2020-21 NBA season. Overall, Tristan Thompson is coming off his best scoring season for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Thompson registered career-high numbers of 12 points and 2.1 assists through the 2019-20 NBA season. This year, he is part of a potent Boston Celtics roster that is expected to make a serious push for the NBA Championship after being eliminated in the Conference Finals last season.Published 30 Dec 2020, 02:29 IST