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Pacers playoff links: Victor Oladipo back at Fieldhouse; Larry Bird wants ‘mentally tougher’ Pacers

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The Pacers are back in town with their injured team leader there to pump them up to try and turn the series around in Game 3

Indiana Pacers v Boston Celtics - Game Two Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The Pacers return home for Game 3 against the Celtics down 0-2 and looking for a boost from the Fieldhouse crowd as they try to gain some momentum in a playoff series that appears lost after failing to close out Game 2 in Boston.

The Pacers’ playoff slogan of ‘Gold Don’t Quit’ will be put to the test over the next two home games and that goes for the fans, as well. The fan base is always part of the equation and the Pacers slogan is certainly focused on the players, organization and fans as a whole when referencing ‘Gold’, so it will be interesting to see how the fans show out for Game 3. The Celtics always have a good chunk of fans at the Fieldhouse, so hopefully they aren’t stealing the show on Friday night.

As for the team, the final minute meltdown in Boston created the desperate situation at BLF tonight. Larry Bird chimed in with what now seems like an annual plea going back several year for the Pacers to be ‘mentally tougher’ when it comes to winning time. A big part of that mental toughness is remaining focused on the little things and executing even when chaos is breaking out around you.

Along with the fan support at BLF, the Pacers should get a boost from seeing Victor Oladipo who will return to the Fieldhouse and no doubt, have all of his teammates in a positive frame of mind heading into Game 3. As Mark Montieth reports, Oladipo won’t be on the bench for obvious safety reasons, but being in the locker room prior to the tip and the building for Game 3 will help add some juice to the Fieldhouse.

Check out the links:

Game Preview: Pacers vs Celtics (Game 3) | Indiana Pacers

Pacers Need Tweaks to Get More From Turner, Sabonis | Indiana Pacers

McMillan: Last minute probably worst basketball I’ve seen in a long, long time

2019 NBA Playoffs: Pacers plumbing new depths of NBA playoff ineptitude vs. Celtics

Fourth-quarter dry spell and miscues costly for Pacers in Game 2 loss – The Athletic

Leveraging their star power, Celtics thriving by forcing Pacers to make impossible decisions – The Athletic

Larry Bird's advice for Indiana - 'They've got to be mentally tougher'

Celtics use small-small screening to exploit Indiana’s limited defenders - CelticsBlog

Celtics News: After Boston Celtics Down Indiana Pacers, Kyrie Irving Talks Big Playoff Games at TD Garden | CLNS Media

Celtics vs. Pacers: Kyrie Irving in the NBA Playoffs really is that unstoppable - SBNation.com

Breaking down the Indiana Pacers' Game 2 4th quarter meltdown