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Game Preview: Pacers at Celtics

Last Updated: Nov. 7 at 1:00 p.m.

Matchup

The Pacers (1-4) head to Boston on Friday night to take on the Celtics (1-3) for the first time this season. Both teams will be looking to snap a recent losing streak. Indiana has dropped four consecutive games since their season-opening win over Philadelphia, while the Celtics have lost three straight since beating Brooklyn on Opening Night.

The Pacers are, however, coming off a strong performance on Wednesday night in Washington. Buoyed by a career night from Donald Sloan (31 points, six rebounds, and seven assists), the Blue-and-Gold took a very good Wizards team to overtime and had a chance to win despite playing without five injured players.

While Sloan, Chris Copeland, and Roy Hibbert have been giving Indiana solid production, the Pacers are hoping starting wing C.J. Miles can break out of his shooting slump. Miles has made just 16-of-63 shots to begin the season (25.4 percent) and is 5-for-29 from 3-point range (17.2 percent). Arguably the best shooter on the team, Miles is bound to see his shot start falling, it's just a matter of when. Hopefully for the Pacers, it's sooner rather than later. Without George Hill, David West, and Rodney Stuckey for the time being, Miles' offense is especially important.

The Pacers added a little depth in the backcourt on Thursday evening, when they signed free agent point guard A.J. Price. Price gives the team some depth behind Sloan (who has been playing over 36 minutes per game) while fellow guards George Hill, C.J. Watson, and Stuckey are all sidelined. Price is expected to play Friday night.

In their second year under former Butler head coach Brad Stevens, the Celtics are still young and rebuilding. Jeff Green leads four players in double figures, averaging 22.3 points per contest. A now-healthy Rajon Rondo is a nightly threat to get a triple-double, averaging 9.3 points, 7 rebounds, and 12.5 assists through four games.

Boston also added former Pacers forward Evan Turner this summer. Turner, who came over to Indiana in the Danny Granger trade last February, is averaging 6 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 2.5 assists while shooting 44 percent from the field so far this season.

Projected Starters

Donald Sloan

Donald Sloan

Solomon Hill

Solomon Hill

Chris Copeland

Chris Copeland

Luis Scola

Luis Scola

Roy Hibbert

Roy Hibbert

Rajon Rondo

Rajon Rondo

Avery Bradley

Avery Bradley

Jeff Green

Jeff Green

Jared Sullinger

Jared Sullinger

Kelly Olynyk

Kelly Olynyk

Pacers: PG - Donald Sloan, SG - Solomon Hill, SF - Chris Copeland, PF - Luis Scola, C - Roy Hibbert
Celtics: PG - Rajon Rondo, SG - Avery Bradley, SF - Jeff Green, PF - Jared Sullinger, C - Kelly Olynyk

Injury Report

Pacers: Paul George - out (rehabilitation, fractured right tibia/fibula), George Hill - out (left knee contusion), C.J. Watson - out (bruised right foot), David West - out (sprained right ankle), Rodney Stuckey - out (sore left foot)
Celtics: Vitor Faverani - out (left knee surgery)

Last Meeting

March 11, 2014: The Pacers closed the game on a 17-7 run to defeat the Celtics, 94-83, at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Boston had nearly erased a 15-point second-half deficit, cutting the margin to one before Indiana's strong finish.

David West led all scorers with 24 points on 11-of-13 shooting. Andrew Bynum, playing his first game in a Pacers uniform, contributed eight points and 10 rebounds in 15:36 off the bench.

Jared Sullinger led the Celtics with 17 points and nine rebounds. Kris Humphries added 15 and nine.

Noteworthy

  • The Celtics are 86-72 all-time against the Pacers, including a 55-24 advantage in games played in Boston.
  • Indiana swept the season series with the Celtics last season, taking all four meetings by an average margin of victory of 14.5 points per game.
  • Celtics forward Jeff Green and Pacers center Roy Hibbert were teammates at Georgetown from 2004-07 and teamed up to lead the Hoyas to the 2007 Final Four.

 

Broadcast Information

TV: FOX Sports Indiana - Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Jeremiah Johnson (sideline reporter/host)
Radio: 107.5/1070 The Fan - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Pat Boylan (studio host)