Pacers at Celtics

Pacers Reflect on Loss to Clippers, Look Ahead to Celtics

Dec. 10, 2019 - Nate McMillan, Domantas Sabonis, and Malcolm Brogdon discuss Monday's loss to the Clippers and another challenging game on Wednesday against the Boston Celtics.

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Pacers Reflect on Loss to Clippers, Look Ahead to Celtics

Dec. 10, 2019 - Nate McMillan, Domantas Sabonis, and Malcolm Brogdon discuss Monday's loss to the Clippers and another challenging game on Wednesday against the Boston Celtics.
Dec 10, 2019  |  01:25

Game Preview: Pacers vs Celtics

Wednesday, December 11, 2019 at 7:00 PM ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
by Brendan Rourke
Pacers.com Contributor





Matchup

Indiana will have to dispel any leftover feelings about their loss to the L.A. Clippers quickly in order to prepare for their next opponent, the Boston Celtics. The Pacers (15-9) are facing the Celtics (17-5) for the first time since Boston swept their first-round playoff series last spring.

The Celtics currently boast the Eastern Conference's second-best record and the NBA's seventh-best offensive rating (110.5 points per 100 possessions). Additionally, Boston currently ranks third in defensive rating, allowing just 102.6 points per 100 possessions. They are one of four NBA teams that rank in the top 10 in both categories.

Five Boston players are currently averaging in double figures, including three that average 20 points or more. Kemba Walker, who was acquired in a sign-and-trade with the Charlotte Hornets in the 2019 offseason, leads all Boston scorers with a 21.8 point per game average. Former Duke standout Jayson Tatum averages 21.1 points per game, while Jaylen Brown is averaging 20 points per game.

Should he stay off the injury report, Indiana will also have to deal with former Brownsburg High School and Butler product, Gordon Hayward. Though he missed a month with a fractured left hand, Hayward returned to the lineup in Monday's win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, where he tallied 14 points on 7-of-10 shooting, five rebounds, and four assists in 26 minutes.

Indiana will definitely have to find a way to improve their shooting percentages from two nights ago if they wish to pull off the victory. The team connected on just three of their first 14 shots, and finished with their second-worst shooting night of the season (35.4 percent on 34-of-96 shooting). The Blue & Gold also made just 10 of their 35 3-point attempts (28.6 percent). Perhaps tomorrow night the shots will fall, and Indiana will walk away with a statement victory.

Projected Starters

Pacers: PG - Malcolm Brogdon, SG - Jeremy Lamb, SF - T.J. Warren, PF - Domantas Sabonis, C - Myles Turner
Celtics: PG - Kemba Walker, SG - Jaylen Brown, SF - Gordon Hayward, PF - Jayson Tatum, C - Daniel Theis

Injury Report

Pacers: JaKarr Sampson - questionable (sore lower back), Victor Oladipo - out (right knee surgery rehab)

Celtics: Romeo Langford - out (right ankle sprain), Robert Williams - out (left hip soreness)

Last Meeting

April 21, 2019: Boston completed its first-round playoff sweep over Indiana with a tough 110-106 win at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Bojan Bogdanovic led the Blue & Gold with 22 points and Tyreke Evans added 21, but Indiana appeared to struggle on offense during crucial stretches of the game.

"They were much more poised than us in all four games down the stretch," Pacers point guard Darren Collison said. "I think that's where it turned. Every single game it was close, but they just managed to stay poised and it just seemed like different guys stepped up at the right time."

Indiana found themselves clinging to a two point lead at halftime after Myles Turner's momentous one-hand slam over Gordon Hayward sparked Indiana late in the second quarter. While Indiana remained in front for most of the third quarter, Marcus Morris connected on two free throws with 25.1 seconds in the third to give Boston a 73-72 lead heading in the fourth. Hayward got his revenge in the fourth by converting a three-point play off a Turner foul, and Kyrie Irving's steal led to an easy Jayson Tatum dunk that essentially sealed Indiana's fate for the 2018-19 NBA season.

Noteworthy

  • 2018 Indiana Mr. Basketball and former Indiana Hoosier Romeo Langford returns to Indiana for the first time as an NBA player.
  • Indiana and Boston have split the last six regular-season matchups, with three wins apiece.
  • Kemba Walker and Jeremy Lamb were teammates on the Charlotte Hornets from 2015-19.
  • Kemba Walker, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, and Myles Turner were teammates on Team USA during the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

Tickets

The Pacers continue their homestand by hosting Kemba Walker and the Boston Celtics at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Wednesday, Dec. 11 at 7:00 PM ET. Find Tickets »

Broadcast Information TV & Radio Listings »

TV: FOX Sports Indiana - Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Jeremiah Johnson (sideline reporter/host)
Radio: 93.5/107.5 FM/1070 AM The Fan - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Slick Leonard (analyst), Pat Boylan (sideline reporter/host)
Please Note: Inside Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Pacers radio broadcasts can be heard on 1080 AM instead of 1070.

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