8 a.m. ET: The Celtics are in for a real test. After taking care of business with wins over the Warriors and Sixers — wins that should be expected — they drive into Indianapolis to face one of the league’s toughest up-and-coming squads.
The Pacers (38-22) are really good, especially defensively. They allow the second-fewest points per game and hold opponents to the lowest field goal percentage in the league. For an old-school, grinding defensive club, they provide something for the advanced stats crowd, too. They lead the league in defensive efficiency at just 96.2 points per 100 possessions allowed, and also hold their opponents to the league’s lowest effective field goal percentage, which weights 3-pointers more highly due to the extra point you get for making those shots.
In case you have not caught our drift, the Pacers are a quality opponent, and the Celtics (32-27) would make a statement by beating them.
Join us for updates and analysis during the game which tips off at 7 p.m. ET.