The mini-series style format that the NBA has adopted to reduce travel sees the Boston Celtics take on the Indiana Pacers for a second consecutive game. The Pacers were triumphant on the previous occasion thanks to a Domantas Sabonis game-winner.
Fixture: Boston Celtics vs Indiana Pacers | NBA Season 2020-21
Date & Time: Tuesday, December 29th, 7 PM ET (Wednesday, 5:30 AM IST)
Venue: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
Boston Celtics Preview
The Boston Celtics stayed toe-to-toe with the Indiana Pacers for the entire game but two bad plays in the last minute resulted in a tough loss. Jayson Tatum is shooting 39.2% from downtown but couldn't get the game-winning 3-pointer to fall.
Marcus Smart is having the best passing year while Tristan Thompson has done a good job underneath the basket. Brad Stevens has found a way to play him and Daniel Theis together. Kemba Walker remains out with a knee injury and isn't too close to a return.
Key Player - Jaylen Brown
Jaylen Brown has taken an incredible leap on both ends of the court this season. He leads the Boston Celtics in scoring and is averaging 26 points per game. The three-point shot isn't falling for him but he's still shooting at 51.6% from the field. He had 18 the other night against Indiana Pacers but will be looking for more on Tuesday.
Boston Celtics Predicted Lineup
G Marcus Smart, G Jaylen Brown, F Jayson Tatum, F Tristan Thompson, C Daniel Theis
Indiana Pacers Preview
The Indiana Pacers are playing efficient basketball on both ends of the court under head coach Nate Bjorkgren. They're top 10 in the league in both offensive and defensive ratings. They have three players averaging over 20 points right now including Domantas Sabonis who is playing at an All-NBA level right now.
The Indiana Pacers took care of the Boston Celtics without Victor Oladipo last time around who's sitting out on second nights of back-to-back games. Myles Turner has 17 blocks in three games while TJ Warren is also slowly improving his output.
Key Player - Malcolm Brogdon
With Boston Celtics expected to put more focus on Domantas Sabonis after his game-winner, more opportunities should open up for Malcolm Brogdon. He's the second-best playmaker on the Indiana Pacers right now, averaging 6.3 assists for his exploits. He's also managing a healthy 21.3 points per game.
Indiana Pacers Predicted Lineup
G Malcolm Brogdon, G Victor Oladipo, F TJ Warren, F Domantas Sabonis, C Myles Turner
Celtics vs Pacers Match Prediction
Both the Boston Celtics and Indiana Pacers are well-coached teams so you can expect another close tie. However, the latter is operating more efficiently and will also have the services of Oladipo on Tuesday. With home advantage also coming into play, the Pacers are the favorites to win this one.
Where to watch Celtics vs Pacers?
NBC Sports Boston and FOX Sports Indiana will carry the local coverage of the game. You can also live stream the same via the NBA League Pass.