Boston Celtics vs Indiana Pacers. Shape of the Teams

The NBA Eastern Conference Finals are finally getting underway, with the Boston Celtics facing off against the Indiana Pacers after a surprising first couple of rounds. While the Pacers have had to struggle their way to where they are now, Boston has been dominating, fresh off a 4-1 series against a decent Cleveland Cavaliers team.

It really seems like the Celtics are unstoppable at this point, but the Pacer’s insane depth could still pose a threat with seven players scoring more than 10 points a night. But regardless, the Pacers certainly have their work cut for them.

Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown continue to perform at the highest level night after night, while guys like Derrick White and Jrue Holiday sit as fantastic second and third options. Whether you’re looking at the offensive or defensive side of the ball, the Boston Celtics really don’t have any holes in their roster, even with Kristaps Porziņģis injured.

The Pacers, on the other hand, have been able to make it this far without any real superstars on their roster, instead succeeding with a deep squad full of great roleplayers. Don’t get us wrong, Pascal Siakam has been fantastic, especially in the Milwaukee Bucks series, but he’s not a superstar carrying his team.

While the Boston Celtics may be the heavy favourite going into game one on Tuesday, it’ll be interesting to see how the rosters clash and if Porziņģis’ absence causes any issues.

Odds via Tonybet

Celtics vs PacersMay 22, 8:00 p.m EDT
Boston Celtics odds -400
Indiana Pacers odds +350
Boston Celtics spread -8.5 -137
Indiana Pacers spread +7.5 +126

Unfortunately for Pacers fans, the outcome of game one seems like a foregone conclusion in the eyes of sportsbooks, and we have to agree. Boston is a certified superteam on both ends of the court and will likely smother the Pacers in game one.

Tatum should have no problems checking Siakam, which should slow down the Pacer’s offence tremendously while guys like Holiday and Brown lock up Tyrese Haliburton and Andrew Nembhard. 

On the offensive side of the ball, Boston should again have no issues finding their spots, as they’ve been shooting with great efficiency both inside and outside.

However, it’s not curtains for the Pacers just yet. If Pacers coach Rick Carlisle can manage to take advantage of the elderly Al Horford inside, along with some great shooting, they do have a shot at winning game one.

At the end of the day, Indiana still managed to beat several talented teams on the way to the Eastern Conference Finals, even if they did get lucky and avoid playing a healthy Milwaukee Bucks squad.

All in all, we don’t have a ton of hope on the Pacer’s side, giving the advantage to the Celtics, especially in game one, but we don’t think they will go down without a fight.

Boston Celtics vs Indiana Pacers Prediction

The Boston Celtics enter game one as clear favourites after dropping only two games so far in the 2024 NBA playoffs, one to the Miami Heat and one to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and the rest of the Celtics have been absolutely dominant, holding teams to under 100 points on seven separate occasions.

That’s not to discount Boston’s offence, as they have been great in transition and in the half-court. Tatum and Brown are both scoring well over 20 points a night, while Derrick White and Jrue Holiday have been averaging their own decent numbers at 18.2 and 10.4, respectively.

The only real issue Boston is facing right now is on the inside, as Al Horford isn’t the athletic guy he once was. Without Kristaps Porziņģis, there is a definite hole in the key, even with the great help side defence and boards everyone is bringing down.

That hole on the inside is exactly what the Pacers need to aim for if they want to have a chance in Tuesday’s game. Pascal Siakam is deadly from the mid-range and if he can get Al Horford off his feet or moving laterally, that should open up a ton on the inside for Myles Turner.

As long as Siakam, Haliburton, and Turner play their parts well, the rest of the Pacers should have a shot at putting away the Celtics.

However, in reality, we have to go with the Celtics on this one – they’re just too complete of a team to ignore. As long as Boston plays their game, shooting well and clamping down on defence, they should be in a good spot to take home the dub in game one.

Boston Celtics vs Indiana Pacers Player Pick 

Pascal Siakam isn’t a top-10 player in the league by any means, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t a superstar in his own right. The guy has a ton of playoff experience from his time with the Toronto Raptors and has shown up for plenty of big games in the past.

If the Pacers get down, there’s a great chance he will light it up from the mid-range while also going straight at Al Horford. Without a strong inside presence, it can be a little bit hard to slow down Siakam’s game, even with somebody like Jayson Tatum sitting on his hip.

Moreover, he’s been averaging over 21 points a night over the last five games, shooting 56.8% from the field and 55.6% from three. Siakam may not be shooting at the same volume as other stars, but his efficiency is through the roof.

Don’t get it twisted – Siakam isn’t necessarily a 30-point-per-night player, but 20.5 seems quite reasonable.

Disclaimer: Odds are accurate at the time of posting and subject to change. Please verify the latest odds on our platform before betting.

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