Game Preview: Pacers vs Celtics
Wednesday, March 6th, 2013 at 7:00 PM EST at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Game Preview: IND vs BOS
Scott Agness | March 3, 2013 | Last Updated: March 6 at 3:27 PM
The Boston Celtics make their first appearance at the Fieldhouse Wednesday before the Pacers head down to Florida for a pair of games. Last week, the Celtics completed a five-game, seven-day West Coast trip where they returned home with two wins, over Phoenix and Utah. Boston will arrive in Indy early in the morning after playing in Philadelphia Tuesday evening.
Due to a variety of injuries, the Celtics have utilized a variety of lineups, including 14 combinations of starters. They've hiked their tempo as well as their ball movement. Even without Rajon Rondo, who tore the ACL in his right knee and is out for the season, the Celtics (32-27) will likely make the playoffs. And if the playoffs began today, the Pacers would face the Celtics in the first round. The Pacers understand that and are approaching the game with that in the back of their minds.
Paul Pierce, the only Celtics player to start in every game, leads the team with 18.6 points per game. Kevin Garnett, a 15-time NBA All-Star, is good for about 15 points and eight boards a game. Defensive specialist Avery Bradley, who missed the first 30 games of the season following shoulder surgeries, has helped the Celtics move up to seventh in the league in steals while holding opponents to fewer than 96 points per game (8th).
Just before the trade deadline, the Celtics traded injured guard Leandro Barbosa and center Jason Collins to the Washington Wizards for guard Jordan Crawford. A week later, they signed free agent forward D.J. White, an Indiana grad, to a 10-day contract.
The Pacers had a day off on Monday before getting back to business on Tuesday. Danny Granger, who was averaging 5.4 points and 1.8 rebounds in 15 minutes of action over the last five games, will be out at least a week due to above-average soreness in his left knee. An MRI showed no new damage and he’ll be re-evaluated by team doctors in one week.
Pacers: Danny Granger (out, left knee)
Celtics: Rajon Rondo (out, torn right ACL), Jared Sullinger (out, lumbar disc surgery)
"They got one of the best coaches in the game. And Rondo is a great player but they got a great system. (They're) very, very well coached and much like we said about the Bulls, they win no matter who's in uniform. That's what kind of team Boston is and that's a credit to Doc Rivers.” – Frank Vogel on their success without Rondo
"Well, they're very different. They're actually running a lot more than they typically do, close to 20 fastbreak points per game over the last four games. They're going to bring more defensive ball pressure when you have Avery Bradley in there at the point guard spot and more of an up-tempo style" – Frank Vogel on the Celtics without Rajon Rondo
"It does, especially when you have two days - like we had off yesterday and then a full practice day today. It just helps you dial in on some situational things like we worked on today and obviously study your opponent a little more.” – Frank Vogel on additional rest and practice time recently
- The Celtics have won eight of the last 11 meetings, including three in a row.
- Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo were both voted on the East All-Star team as starters.
- Pacers head coach Frank Vogel served on Jim O’Brien’s staff in Boston from 2001-04.
- Courtney Lee attended Pike High School and won the Class 4A State Title in 2003.
Coming off four losses by an average margin of 20 points, the Celtics ended their losing skid with a 94-75 home win over the Pacers, who shot a season-low 31.8 percent and gave the ball away 19 times. The Pacers led by one after the first quarter but the Celtics finished them off in the middle two quarters, outscoring the Pacers by 19.
Kevin Garnett scored 18 points prior to being ejected in the fourth after receiving a flagrant foul for forcefully hitting Tyler Hansbrough in the face. Rajon Rondo also scored 18 and he assisted on seven baskets. Hansbrough scored 11 of his game-high 19 points in the second half. David West recorded 10 points and 10 rebounds. Both West and Paul George were 4-of-18 from the field.
George Hill (strained right groin) missed his third straight game and Sam Young (sprained ankle) didn’t make the trip. Jeff Pendergraph received six stitches above his right eye.
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/AM 1070 The Fan, Pacers Radio Network - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Slick Leonard (analyst), Kevin Lee (sideline reporter/host)
Good seats are still available for the Pacers-Celtics matchup and also include College Night presented by the Indiana National Guard. Find Tickets »