The Boston Celtics continue their run of fixtures against strong Eastern Conference rivals by taking on the Indiana Pacers. While the former enters this tie on the back of a blowout loss on Christmas Day, the latter has started the season with two consecutive wins.
Fixture: Boston Celtics vs Indiana Pacers | NBA Season 2020-21
Date & Time: Sunday, December 27th, 8 PM ET (Monday, 6:30 AM IST)
Venue: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
Boston Celtics Preview
The Boston Celtics looked on course for two wins in two games as they entered halftime against the Brooklyn Nets with a three-point lead. A 72-41 bludgeoning from the Nets reduced Brad Stevens' side to their first loss of the season.
The Boston Celtics have no option but to look ahead now. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown have stepped up in the absence of Kemba Walker but the duo needs support. The Cs also need to get to the charity stripe more often. The inability to do so with shots not falling was the main reason for their loss on Christmas Day.
Key Player - Jaylen Brown
Jaylen Brown is arguably the best player on the Boston Celtics roster on current form. He's a complete workhorse on defense and is averaging 30 points on 49% shooting through two games. Against the Indiana Pacers, he'll be given the task of keeping the likes of Victor Oladipo and Malcolm Brogdon quiet.
Boston Celtics Predicted Lineup
G Marcus Smart, G Jaylen Brown, F Jayson Tatum, F Tristan Thompson, C Daniel Theis
Indiana Pacers Preview
It's been a good start to life for new Indiana Pacers head coach Nate Bjorkgren whose team walloped the New York Knicks and the Chicago Bulls in their two opening encounters. The Boston Celtics present a different challenge altogether and Bjorkgren needs to remind his players of the same.
Domantas Sabonis has been the star of the show for Indiana Pacers so far, averaging 27 points, 11.5 rebounds, and eight assists per game. Victor Oladipo is slowly finding his All-Star self, having dropped 22 points apiece in each contest so far. Meanwhile, Myles Turner has blocked 12 shots in two outings.
Key Player - Domantas Sabonis
Domantas Sabonis was already a very good rebounder of the ball last season. This time though, he's shown more aggression while trying to score and has also displayed a slick passing range. He'll be looking to lead the Indiana Pacers once again by dominating the likes of Daniel Theis and Tristan Thompson.
Indiana Pacers Predicted Lineup
G Malcolm Brogdon, G Victor Oladipo, F TJ Warren, F Domantas Sabonis, C Myles Turner
Celtics vs Pacers Match Prediction
The Boston Celtics aren't operating at their highest level right now. They've shown that they can go cold for extended stretches and a well-coached team like Indiana Pacers could take advantage of that. The Celtics are the Pacers' first real test this seasn but the latter looks well-oiled. Four of the Pacers' five starters are doing well on both ends of the court so expect them to win this close affair.
Where to watch Celtics vs Pacers?
Local coverage of the game will be available on NBC Sports Boston and FOX Sports Indiana. You can also live stream the same via the NBA League Pass.
Published 27 Dec 2020, 17:48 IST