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Pacers playoffs schedule: First round series against Celtics begins on Sunday

Playing the Celtics gives the Pacers some quality spots on the NBA playoffs schedule

NBA: Boston Celtics at Indiana Pacers Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Pacers and Celtics will tip off their first round playoff series on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. ET in a game televised on TNT. Thanks for a first round matchup with the Celtics, the Pacers don’t have to worry about NBA TV relegation this year.

The first two games in Boston will be shown on TNT, then the next two in Indy will be televised on ABC. Here’s the full schedule:

Game 1 @ Boston: Sunday, Apr. 14 at 1 p.m. ET on TNT

Game 2 @ Boston: Wednesday, Apr. 17 at 7 p.m. ET on TNT

Game 3 @ Indiana: Friday, Apr. 19 at 8:30 p.m. ET on ABC

Game 4 @ Indiana: Sunday, Apr. 21 at 1 p.m. ET on ABC

Game 5 @ Boston: Wednesday, Apr. 24 (if necessary) Time: TBD

Game 6 @ Indiana: Friday, Apr. 26 (if necessary) Time: TBD

Game 7 @ Boston: Sunday, Apr. 28 (if necessary) Time: TBD

The Pacers enjoyed a culture win to complete the regular season in Atlanta, with TJ Leaf and Edmond Sumner playing a starring role to get it done against the young, but talented Hawks.

Most of the vets rested with an eye on the Celtics and Game 1. The Pacers also heard some favorable news with reports that Marcus Smart will be out for the series with an oblique injury. Smart’s ability to guard Bojan Bogdanovic and allow the Celtics to go small against the Pacers big lineups with Myles Turner and Domas Sabonis was a distinct advantage Brad Stevens and friends will no longer be able to lean on.

Of course, Gordon Hayward’s resurgent play and the mere presence of Kyrie at closing time should keep the Celtics favored throughout the series. Ah, the Pacers in an udnerdog role...just the way they like it.