Boston Celtics vs. Indiana Pacers Preview
Two top-five Eastern Conference teams face off tonight when the Boston Celtics (24-15) host the Indiana Pacers (27-13). The Pacers won their last game and seven of their last 10, whereas Boston is on a three-game streak in their homestand.
The last time these teams met was on November 3, with Indiana winning by a razor-thin 102-101 margin, thanks to a late game-winning three-pointer by Victor Oladipo. Oladipo led the Pacers with 24 points and 12 rebounds. Marcus Morris led the Celtics with 23 points.
Boston has been 14-5 at TD Garden and Indiana has been one of the better road teams in the league but will be on the second game of a back-to-back.
Time: 7:00pm ET
Arena: TD Garden, Boston, MA
Channel: FSIND, NBCSB
Boston Celtics Starting Lineup
Since losing to the San Antonio Spurs last Monday, the Celtics have won their last three, over the Minnesota Timberwolves, Dallas Mavericks, and Brooklyn Nets.
The Celtics handled the Nets, who have played well recently, in impressive fashion with a 116-95 win. Boston had a balanced scoring attack with eight players scoring in double figures, led by 17 points and seven assists from Kyrie Irving in his return to the lineup.
The Celtics have been going deeper into their bench which has benefitted the team in getting starters more rest and allowing players returning from injury to come back slowly. At the same time, it has meant players who have played a bigger role aren’t seeing such a drastic reduction in minutes.
With the Celtics almost completely healthy, aside from starting center Aron Baynes being out, the defense is looking as impressive as it did earlier in the season. Against Brooklyn, they limited D’Angelo Russell to five points, and two other starters were limited to single-digit performances.
Indiana Pacers Starting Lineup
The Pacers bounced back from a 105-121 loss to the Toronto Raptors with a 123-115 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Pacers got out to a quick start, outscoring the Cavs 38-16 in the opening quarter, which put them in place to weather the second half storm by Cleveland.
With Myles Turner out, Thaddeus Young and Bojan Bogdanovic stepped up with 26 and 23 points apiece. Domantas Sabonis got the start and delivered with 15 points and nine rebounds. Turner is doubtful for tonight’s game so the Pacers will need big performances once again from more than star guard Victor Oladipo.
The Pacers struggled to defend the three-point line, which seemed to be their issue against Toronto. Giving up 72 points in the second half also made the absence of Turner even more apparent. Even with a win, the Pacers were not happy with escaping the Q and winning the way they did against the Cavs, who have the league’s worst record. Against a quality opponent in Boston, the Pacers will have to bounce back to keep hold of their third spot in the East.
Boston Celtics vs. Indiana Pacers Betting Odds
The Celtics are -6.5 point favorites to win tonight’s game at home. The over/under is 213 points and there has been no movement on the moneyline since Boston opened at -260.
Boston is 116-50 at home and 161-66 as the betting favorite. The Pacers are 68-86 on the road and 52-90 as the underdog.
DraftKings & FanDuel Fantasy Picks
Tonight’s fantasy studs are Kyrie Irving ($8.4k) and Victor Oladipo ($8.3k). Irving is projected for 40.29 fantasy points on FanDuel. Oladipo is projected for 39.05 points.
Jayson Tatum ($6.3k) and Thaddeus Young ($5.7k) are fantasy values. Tatum is expected to follow a solid performance with a 28.91 point night on FanDuel. Young is projected for 28.62 points.
Find all of our Fanduel and Draftkings projections here: https://www.lineups.com/nba/nba-fantasy-basketball-projections.