The Indiana Pacers and Boston Celtics will have a two-game home-and-away series starting with a match at TD Garden on Monday. Both teams are coming off big wins and will be looking to continue with their impressive form.
Domantas Sabonis scored a career-high 42 points to lead the Indiana Pacers past the Utah Jazz, ending his team's six-game losing streak. Rick Carlisle’s team has been sharing the ball quite well in the last few games. They are just hoping that their improved chemistry will result in more wins so they can continue to fight for a play-in spot.
Meanwhile, the Boston Celtics just ended an entertaining back-to-back game against their rival, the New York Knicks. Boston led by as many as 25 points before suffering a meltdown to lose a heartbreaker via an RJ Barrett desperation three in their first game. They lost that game 108-105.
Coach Ime Udoka’s team played much better in their second game to avenge that painful loss. The Boston Celtics thoroughly outplayed the Knicks from start to finish, winning comfortably with a 99-75 scoreline.
The Indiana Pacers will face a long night if the Celtics perform to the best of their abilities throughout the game.
Fixture: Indiana Pacers vs Boston Celtics | 2021-22 NBA season
Date & Time: Monday, January 10th; 7:30 PM ET (Tuesday, January 11th; 6:00 AM IST)
Venue: TD Garden, Boston, MA
Indiana Pacers Preview
It took a career night from both Domantas Sabonis and Lance Stephenson for the Indiana Pacers to end an excruciating six-game losing streak. Without reigning three-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert clogging up the interior, the Utah Jazz had no answer for Sabonis.
Lance Stephenson, who is on a 10-day contract, is proving to be one of the best decisions ever made by an NBA team this season. Following his impressive game against the Brooklyn Nets, where he scored 20 points in the first quarter, Stephenson again made his presence felt.
He scattered a career-best 14 assists, half of which came in the fourth quarter. More than his playmaking, the NBA journeyman’s swag and fearless attitude are rubbing off on his teammates. They can hopefully be more consistent and play to the expectations Rick Carlisle has for the Indiana Pacers.
Key Player - Domantas Sabonis
Domantas Sabonis trails only Nikola Jokic and Rudy Gobert for double-doubles this season. He currently has 28 and is showing no signs of slowing down. Domas has been very efficient with his scoring this season for the Indiana Pacers. The versatile big man is shooting 58.6% from the field and has a career-high 61.8% eFG.
Sabonis’ versatility has allowed head coach Rick Carlisle to be creative with his lineup. The Indiana Pacers often use him as a lone big or partner with Myles Turner in a double big combination. His ability to pass and set up teammates is crucial to the Pacers’ style this season.
Without Caris LeVert and most likely Malcolm Brogdon against the Boston Celtics, he is expected to carry the scoring load for the Indiana Pacers.
Indiana Pacers Predicted Lineup
G - Duane Washington Jr. | G - Chris Duarte | F - Justin Holiday | F - Domantas Sabonis | C - Myles Turner
Boston Celtics Preview
The Boston Celtics responded to Ime Udoka’s criticism and came out with aggression and energy from start to finish. Defense again was key for the Celtics in their win. When their defense is humming, as they did against the Knicks, good things usually happen.
The Green Machine limited New York to only 42 points in the first half and then outdid themselves by allowing only 33 in the second half. It also helped that they stopped shooting bricks from beyond the arc. Their 41.4% shooting from long-distance was a welcome change.
As Ime Udoka has preached throughout the season, defense will be where they hang their hats on. When their shots don’t fall, they can stay with the elite teams in the NBA if their defense is clicking.
Key Player - Jaylen Brown
On a night when Jayson Tatum lost his shooting touch, Jaylen Brown carried the Boston Celtics to the win. The 25-year old All-Star finished with 22 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists for his first career triple-double. He also proved that when Tatum’s not up to his best, he is more than ready to carry the team.
In the last 10 games, Brown is averaging 28.7 points, 7.9 rebounds and 3.4 assists per contest. His 11 assists were a breakthrough of sorts in his development as a playmaker. Brown’s ceiling, as good as he is already, jumps when he consistently makes the best plays.
Boston Celtics Predicted Lineup
G - Marcus Smart | G - Jaylen Brown | F - Jayson Tatum | F - Al Horford | C - Robert Williams III
Pacers vs Celtics Match Prediction
The Boston Celtics’ Jekyll and Hyde season makes them extremely difficult to gauge. But if they can consistently play their type of basketball for 48 minutes, they could defend their home floor against the Pacers.
Where to watch the Pacers vs Celtics game
The NBA League Pass will stream the game live. Local coverage of the matchup between the Indiana Pacers and Boston Celtics is available via NBC Sports Boston and Bally Sports Indiana.