Boston Celtics vs. Indiana Pacers: Complete Game Preview


In their first road game of the season the Boston Celtics (1-2) will face the Indiana Pacers (1-3). The Pacers earned their first victory of the season with a win over the previously undefeated Detroit Pistons. The Celtics look to snap their two game losing streak against a Pacers team who has not won a single game at home. The Pacers might be down starting center Ian Mahinmi, who suffered a back injury in Tuesday’s game in Detroit.

Boston’s X-Factor

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David Lee: Lee needs to get himself going for the Celtics or else he might be out of a starting job. Lee is averaging 5.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 2.7 assists for the season, but is shooting an embarrassing 25% from the field. Lee showed promise in the preseason, especially in the team’s two games in Europe where he averaged 13 points,9 rebounds, and 3.5 assists.  Unfortunately for Lee that success has not translated into the regular season.

Indiana’s X-Factor

Paul George: George’s transition to power forward from small forward has yielded mixed results in the team’s first four games. George is scoring a decent amount (16.8 points per game), however he is doing so on a very low percentage (32.9 FG%). The Pacers need George to get back to his 2013-2014 form where he averaged 21.7 points per game and shot 36.4% from behind the arc.

Three Keys to the Game

(Finally) Start Hot: Boston’s poor first quarters have produced deficits that make it difficult to win games. The Celtics are dead last in the league in first quarter points, averaging only 20 points. Maybe a couple of days off will revitalize Boston’s starters and help them begin the game stronger.

Keep Ellis Quiet: Monta Ellis was the Pacers’ marquee acquisition this past offseason, but he has hardly lived up to the four-year $44 million contract he signed. Ellis is only scoring 11.3 points per game and dishing out 3.8 assists, while shooting a poor percentage both from the field (34%) and from three (18.2%). The Pacers could hurt the Celtics if Ellis plays as well as he did in Dallas last season.

Next: Boston Celtics: Takeaways from Loss to Spurs

Command the Boards: The Pacers are second to last in the league in rebounds per game (38.5), however the Celtics aren’t too much better (41.3). With the Pacers potentially without their starting center Mahinmi, the Celtics could be poised for a big rebounding game.

Probable Starters


Marcus Smart, Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder, David Lee and Tyler Zeller


George Hill, Monta Ellis, C.J. Miles, Paul George and Jordan Hill