Friday, November 22, 2013 at 7:30 PM ET at TD Garden
Game Preview: Pacers at Celtics
Pacers.com Staff | November 20, 2013
For the first time this season, the Pacers (10-1) play two road games in a row on the same road trip. After a stop in New York Wednesday, the Pacers play the storied Boston Celtics (4-9) that are just beginning the rebuilding process.
One random July day, news broke that the Celtics had hired Butler coach Brad Stevens as their next head coach. It wasn’t entirely surprising that he had left for a better job, but there wasn’t a rumbling or even a peep about this out there. That’s saying a lot with today’s social media. Celtics president Danny Ainge had been keeping a close eye on Stevens and wanted him to lead their team for the foreseeable future.
Stevens, 37, is the youngest coach in the league but just the fifth-youngest in Celtics history behind Dave Cowens, Bill Russell, Red Auerbach, and Tom Heinsohn. At 40 years old, Frank Vogel is the fifth-youngest in the NBA. During Summer League play in Orlando, Vogel met Stevens for dinner to talk about being a head coach in the NBA and share ideas.
Just a week or so before hiring Stevens, Boston completed a blockbuster deal with Brooklyn, sending Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Jason Terry, and D.J. White to the Nets in exchange for Gerald Green, Kris Humphries, Keith Bogans, MarShon Brooks, Kris Joseph, and three future first round picks. They got rid of the old and are now building towards the future.
All-star point guard Rajon Rondo is the lone remaining familiar face still on their roster and he’s still missing time after tearing his ACL last season. The Celtics drafted Kelly Olynyk with the 13th overall pick and then signed Phil Pressey and Vitor Faverani.
The Celtics’ season thus far has been about streaks. They lost four in a row, won the next four, and have now dropped five straight. Even so, they still have a better winning percentage than both New York and Brooklyn – two teams that sit at the bottom of the Atlantic Division. A totally different Celtics team beat the Pacers in both tries last year to make it four in a row over the Pacers. Boston has been a tough place for the Pacers to play. They’ve left Boston with a loss 13 of the last 15 times that they’ve visited.
Pacers: Danny Granger (out, strained left calf)
Celtics: Rajon Rondo (out, right ACL rehab)
“I just watched them a few times at home. I haven’t really studied them that much. Obviously, they had a four-game streak, they won at Miami, so they’re definitely capable and dangerous, and obviously very well coached.” – Frank Vogel on the Celtics
“It’ll be fun. I’m excited for Brad because he’s doing so well and I’m looking forward to trying to start a potential 4-0 season against him. … He’s one of the best coaches in the game, at any level.” – Vogel on Stevens
- Roy Hibbert is very close with Jeff Green, who was his teammate at Georgetown from 2004-07.
- Frank Vogel was an assistant with the Celtics under Jim O’Brien from 2001-04.
March 6: The Pacers led the Celtics by nine with 4:36 to play, but they didn’t score a point the rest of the game and gave up a layup to Jeff Green off a back screen in the final seconds to seal the 83-81 victory for the visiting Celtics. The Pacers made four of their 20 shots attempted in the final quarter. The win, without Rajon Rondo (knee), was the Celtics’ fourth in a row and a sickening loss for the Pacers.
All five Pacers starters scored in double figures, led by Paul George’s 16. The front court duo of David West (11 points, 16 rebounds) and Roy Hibbert (12 points, 12 rebounds) each recorded double-doubles. All 12 of Hibbert’s points came in the first period. Kevin Garnett had 16 points and he assisted on the game-winning bucket. Paul Pierce and Avery Bradley each added 13.
Broadcast Information | Find Local Listings »
TV: FOX Sports Indiana - Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Brooke Olzendam (sideline reporter/host)
Radio: FM 107.5 The Fan, Pacers Radio Network - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Michael Grady (studio host)