The NBA Playoffs tips off for the Pacers and Celtics on Sunday, April 14.
In this Eastern Conference playoff series, the Celtics are the #4 seed and the Pacers are the #5 seed.
The Pacers won the first game facing the Celtics this season, but lost the last three matchups with the last one coming in their 3rd to last game in a 20-point home loss.
The Pacers lost two in a row before winning their season finale and one of those losses was to the Celtics, which may have cost them hosting this series.
Still, Indiana stepped up in the season making the playoffs even after losing leader and leading scorer Victor Oladipo to a knee injury after only 36 games. The Pacers are not a team that can light up the scoreboard, but are led by the league’s best defense in terms of points allowed per game.
It has been a long season for the Celtics, who were thought to be the favorites to win the East before the season began. There have been off-the-court issues, mainly with Kyrie Irving, but the team won four of their last five games and Irving is the best player in the series.
Boston is a balanced squad that ranks 14th in the league in ppg and 8th in points allowed.
This season the Celtics are 28-13 at home and 21-10 on the road and the Pacers are 29-12 at home and 19-22 on the road.
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Pacers vs Celtics Series Schedule
- Game 1: Sun, April 14 Indiana at Boston, 1 ET, TNT.
- Game 2: Wed, April 17 Indiana at Boston, 7 ET, TNT.
- Game 3: Fri, April 19 Boston at Indiana, 8:30 ET, ABC.
- Game 4: Sun, April 21 Boston at Indiana, 1 ET, ABC.
- *Game 5: Wed, April 24 Indiana at Boston, TBD, TBD (if necessary).
- *Game 6: Fri, April 26 Boston at Indiana, TBD, TBD (if necessary).
- *Game 7: Sun, April 28 Indiana at Boston, TBD, TBD (if necessary).
Indiana Pacers Form
The Pacers enter the series not in the best form and in their bad loss at home to the Celtics late in the season they only shot 41.3% from the floor and they allowed Boston to shoot 52.2%.
During the season Indiana led the league only giving up an average of 104.7 ppg, but in losing their last three games against the Celtics they allowed an average of 122 ppg.
Bojan Bogdanovic led the team averaging 18 ppg and he did not play in the season finale and in his previous two games before that only scored 17 points including only four in the late season loss to Boston.
Domantas Saboinis (14.1 ppg 9.3 rpg) is the 2nd leading scorer and leading rebounder and he has a double-double in three of his last four games.
It is pretty easy for Indy, as they have to play better defense than they did when facing the Celtics in their last three games against them, as they cannot rely on their offense to bail them out.
Boston Celtics Form
The Celtics come into this series with some momentum after a good finish to the season. The team will be without sparkplug Marcus Smart (8.9 ppg) for this series as he is out a few weeks with an injury.
The team has six players averaging at least 11 ppg led by Irving (23.8 ppg), who sat out the season finale and should be well rested for this series.
Second leading scorer Jayson Tatum (15.7 ppg) will also be rested missing the last two games of the season.
The Celtics won both home games against the Pacers, who were three games under .500 on the road.
Pacers vs. Celtics Betting Trends
- Pacers are 7-16 ATS in their last 23 road games.
- Pacers are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 Conference Quarterfinals games.
- Pacers have an Over record of 5-2 in their last 7 games.
- Celtics are 0-8 ATS in their last 8 home games.
- Celtics are 9-2 in their last 11 Conference Quarterfinals games.
- Celtics have an Over record of 4-1 in their last 5 games.
Indiana Pacers vs Boston Celtics Series Prediction
The Celtics have had a far from smooth season, but they are in the playoffs and host this first round series. Their experience will come through and while they have failed to cover the spread in their last eight home games they will step up on their floor in this series.
The Pacers will give them a fight, but Boston is the more talented and deeper team and they will take this series in six games.