The Pacers return to action at the Fieldhouse on Saturday night when they host the Boston Celtics.
Both teams won on Friday night, although the Celtics expended far less injury in rolling past the Magic with no starters playing more than 28 minutes. But we'll call it even since the C's had to fly to Indy after their game in Boston.
Brad Stevens has the Celtics (17-3) rolling with the best record in the NBA after winning 17 of their last 18 games. Like the Pacers, the Celtics are a try-hard team which goes a long way in the NBA regular season, which is no more apparent than watching Kyrie Irving try hard on the defensive end. The C's lead the league in defensive efficiency, giving up less than 97 points per 100 possession.
On offense, the young C's, getting big contributions from Jaylen Brown and rookie Jayson Tatum, will let it fly, averaging more than 30 three-point attempts per game. While Kyrie leads the C's in scoring at 22.9 ppg, four other players average double figures per game.
The Pacers will be without leading scorer, Victor Oladipo after he bruised his knee in the win over Toronto. Should be interesting to see Lance Stephenson in that starting role at the Fieldhouse. The Pacers have won five consecutive games and will need another monster effort to continue that streak against the Celtics.
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Celtics (17-3) at Pacers (11-8) - 8:00 PM EDT at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
TV: Fox Sports Indiana
Radio: 107.5 FM/AM 1070 The Fan
Projected starting lineups
Pacers: Darren Collison (PG), Lance Stephenson (SG), Bojan Bogdanovic (SF), Thaddeus Young (PF), Myles Turner (C)
Celtics: Kyrie Irving (PG), Jaylen Brown (SG), Jayson Tatum (SF), Marcus Morris (PF), Al Horford (C)