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Game Thread #20: Indiana Pacers vs. Boston Celtics

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19-2 7-12
December 7, 2008 - 6:00PM EST
Conseco Fieldhouse
Radio: 1070AM WFNI TV: Fox Sports Indiana
Probable starters:
Rajon Rondo PG T.J. Ford
Ray Allen SG Marquis Daniels
Paul Pierce SF Danny Granger
Kevin Garnett PF Troy Murphy
Kendrick Perkins C Rasho Nesterovic

UPDATE: Bruno's LIVE! Blog is filing updates from courtside. Lots of good pre-game quotes from JOB.

The Indiana Pacers have to bounce back from a less than inspired effort in Clevelan on Friday to play the defending champion Boston Celtics tonight at Conseco Fieldhouse. Note the early start time at 6:00PM EST instead of the normal 7:00PM.

The Celtics used a huge triple-double from Rajon Rondo and a huge number (six) of triples from Ray Allen to overwhelm the Pacers in Boston this past Wendesday. Paul Pierce was able to ease his way through the game, front-rimming shots all night will no ill-effects for the C's.

Oh, and there's more bad news. The Celtics have won 11 in a row and have matched the 19-2 start of last year which is the best in franchise history. Considering the history of the franchise, that's pretty impressive.

Fortunately your Indiana Pacers won't back down from any challenge a visiting team presents as they proved earlier in the year when they hung one of those 2 L's on the Celtics. If the Pacers take care of the little things and on big thing, THE BALL, they'll always have a chance to win.

Here are the Pacers.com matchups. My man, Stephen Graham makes the sixth man matchup. That's hard work and persistence bearing fruit.

Also, for a Boston perspective check out CelticsBlog.

Gameday Reading

  • The Pacers have seen three of the top title contenders up close this past week, so Mike Wells checked in to see which team impressed them the most. Jim O'Brien liked them all and sounds envious of their ability to defend the paint.

    "They're all very focused on not letting the ball get into the paint," coach Jim O'Brien said. "When the ball gets into the paint, there's going to be a collision. In Cleveland and Boston's case, you have guys that are willing to sacrifice their bodies. When the season is over, these teams, Boston, Cleveland and L.A., will be one, two and three in field goal defense.

    "There's not a weak link on any of the teams from the standpoint that you just say you don't have to worry about this guy being in the game."
  • Kendrick Perkins has been doing his part to help out the star-studded lineup around him. Perk is certainly a nasy matchup for the Pacers.
  • Enjoy your Birdmas today and celebrate Larry Bird's 52nd birthday.

Leave your thoughts and observations on the game in the comments. I'll be at the game doing the same.