Ever since the Boston Celtics formed the big three they have ruled the series against the Indiana Pacers. Since the formation, the Pacers lost nine of 10 to the Celtics. The series is due to favor the Pacers now that the big three are gone. Look for the Pacers to establish themselves as the premiere team in this series yet again.
The Pacers will have the upper hand in this one as the Celtics look to rebuild. However, they are young and athletic so don’t underestimate what they are capable of. They have an emerging star in Jeff Green and some young talent that can challenge many teams. The Celtics’ opponents have scored 104 points or more during their losing streak so the defense is definitely lacking, but that’s certainly not the case for the Pacers.
The Pacers’ defense has been one of the main reasons why they are leading in the East with a record of 10-1. Pacers are giving up just a league low 87.2 points per game while holding opponents to 39.5 percent from the field. Look for the Pacers to smother the Celtics with their long, lanky defenders to make these newcomers very uncomfortable, even when they are at home. The Pacers’ offense is still clicking on all cylinders so look for forward David West to really ramp up his production.
No one was more excited to see forward Kevin Garnett leave the Celtics than West. Garnett scored 18 points each game in the meetings between the two last year while West averaged 10.5 points while shooting 8-for-28 during that stretch. Garnett used his long arms to cause problems for West, but now that he is gone forward Jared Sullinger will fill that position. Sullinger does not have the length of Garnett but definitely has more strength. Look for him to be a bruiser in the paint against one of the most versatile big men in the NBA.
Look for the Pacers to get back to their winning ways and easily win this game after some rough outings.
Justin Logan is an Indiana Pacers writer for Rant Sports. Add him on Facebook.