"TJ McConnell legacy game?" - Pacers fans count on backup guard as Tyrese Haliburton misses pivotal Game 3 vs Celtics

NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Indiana Pacers
Pacers fans count on backup guard as Tyrese Haliburton misses pivotal Game 3 vs Celtics

The Indiana Pacers have a big game against the Boston Celtics tonight, trying to win the first game of the Eastern Conference finals without their biggest star. Tyrese Haliburton is out for tonight's game, which means the Pacers will have a bigger task in hand against the favorite Celtics.

In the wake of this news, former NBA champion Kendrick Perkins wondered if TJ McConnell could step up and take his team to a win without Haliburton.

"TJ McConnell legacy game?" the retired big man asked on Twitter today.

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This sparked a series of reactions from Pacers fans and some picked different players to show up today for the franchise that needs a win or they'll go down 0-3.

"I think nesmith goes off," one fan said.
"It’s gonna be Nembhard," another one claimed.
"Maybe. Keep an eye on Aaron Nesmith. Streaky, but can shoot it. Home crowd adrenaline rush?" a third fan said.

Other fans took exception to Perkins' words, claiming he's rooting against the Celtics and favoring another Eastern Conference team.

One fan predicted Perkins is going to praise Pascal Siakam.

"Can already see it. Celtics W tonight but IND keeps it close. Siakam goes off and Perk tweets ‘Siakam is better than Tatum and Brown,'" this person wrote.

The Pacers showed in Game 1 of the series that they can compete against the Celtics. Certain mistakes and clutch shots down the stretch cost them that match, but fans are still hopeful that they can turn things around.

Pacers hold a notable record at home

Indiana hasn't had a home-court advantage in any series of the 2024 NBA playoffs, but that hasn't been a problem for them. In the first six games at home in this postseason, they're yet to lose.

Indiana beat the Milwaukee Bucks three times during their first-round series and then did the same with the New York Knicks, forcing a Game 7 to beat them in New York to advance to this round.

The Boston Celtics also have a card under their sleeve. They are undefeated on the road this postseason, beating the Miami Heat and the Cleveland Cavaliers, respectively, twice as visitors.

One streak will end tonight and Indy fans hope it's the Celtics'. Perkins already named a potential breakout player for this match, so we have to wait to see if McConnell or any other player rises to the occasion.

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