The Pacers and Celtics meet for the fourth and final time in the regular season on Friday night with the winner taking control of their heated race for the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference.
Neither team has had a smooth road to this point in the season, but both tip the game tonight after winning their last two games and looking to be working into playoff mode. It’s as if the calendar turning to April on Monday flipped the switch.
Boston swept a home-and-home against the Miami Heat and in closing out the second win in Miami, looked real strong. In particular, Gordon Hayward looked as good as he ever has this season.
The Pacers also swept their home-and-home against the Detroit Pistons and while both teams were short-handed, the Pacers delivered a strong level of play with players like Doug McDermott and Aaron Holiday stepping up their game off the bench.
The Pacers may have Wesley Matthews available but it appears Darren Collison will remain out. The Celtics may have Jaylen Brown but will also be without Marcus Morris.
Regardless of who wins this one, it remains a preview of the upcoming first-round playoff series between the two teams. But consider this game a part of that series since it will determine where post-season play begins.
Where: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
When: 8:00 p.m. ET
TV: ESPN/FOX Sports Indiana
Radio: 107.5 FM/AM 1070 The Fan
Projected Starting Lineups:
Pacers: Cory Joseph, Tyreke Evans, Bojan Bogdanovic, Thaddeus Young, Myles Turner
Celtics: Kyrie Irving, Marcus Smart, Jayson Tatum, Al Horford, Aron Baynes
IND: Victor Oladipo (right knee) - out, Darren Collison (sore groin) - doubtful, Wesley Matthews (hamstring) - questionable
BOS: Jaylen Brown (low back spasms) - questionable, Marcus Morris (left knee soreness) - out, Al Horford (left knee soreness) - probable
Please leave your thoughts and observations on the game in the comments.