at Boston Celtics (47-32) at Indiana Pacers (47-32)
Friday, April 19, 2019
8:30 PM ET
Post Season Game #3, Road Game #1
Round 1 Game #3
TV: ABC, NBCSB, FSInd
Radio: 98.5 Sports Hub, 1070 The Fan
Bankers Life FieldhouseProbable Starting Matchups
Kyrie Irving vs Darren Collison
Jaylen Brown vs Wesley Matthews Small Forward
Jayson Tatum vs Bojan BogdanovicPower Forward
Al Horford vs Thaddeus YoungCenter
Aron Baynes vs Miles Turner Celtics Reserves
Robert Williams III
Marcus Smart (oblique) out Two Way Players
RJ HunterHead Coach
Brad StevensPacers Reserves
Domantas Sabonis Injuries
Victor Olidipo (knee) out Two Way Players
Nate McMillanGame Notes
The series shifts to Indiana with the Celtics up 2-0 on the Indiana Pacers. While the Pacers struggled on the road this season, they were very good at home, with a 29-12 record at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The Celtics ended the season with a 21-20 record on the road.
The Celtics need to play better than they did in the first two games if they want to win on the road. This series has been a defensive battle so far. We can probably expect more of the same in this game. The Celtics have the top defensive rating at 86.8 while the Pacers have the 5th best defensive rating with the Bucks, Rockets and Blazers coming in 2,3 and 4.
In the first game, the Celtics held the Pacers to 33.3% from the field and 22.2% from beyond the arc. The Celtics weren't much better, though shooting 36.4% from the field and 35.7% on 3 pointers. The offense for both teams was better in Game 2 with Indiana shooting 44.4% from the field and 38.2% from 3 while the Celtics shot 47.8% from the field and 39.8% from beyond the arc.
Al Horford was a game time decision with an illness in Game 2 but he played 37 minutes and should be good to go for this game. Aron Baynes came down awkwardly on his ankle in Game 2 and played just 14 minutes in that game but isn't listed on the injured list as of now. ban Marcus Smart remains out with the torn oblique. For the Pacers, Victor Oladipo remains out with a knee injury. Keys Matchups
Jayson Tatum vs Bojan Bogdanovic
This remains the key matchup for both teams. The Celtics need Jayson Tatum to play well. On the other hand, they must keep Bogdanovic from having a big game. He is averaging 17,3 points, 5.0 rebounds 2.0 assists and 3.0 steals. He is shooting 40.6% from the field and 36.4% from beyond the arc. He is by far the Pacers best player and always a threat to hit 3 pointers in the clutch.
Al Horford vs Thaddeus Young
The only other Pacers starter who is in double figures in the playoffs is Young. He is averaging 11 points, 5 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and 4.0 steals. He is shooting 42.2% from the field, but just 20% from beyond the arc. Both averages down quite a bit from the regular season. Horford is key for the Celtics because he does so much on both ends. Even when he was sick in the last game, he was key to that win. Honorable Mention
Gordon Hayward vs Cory Joseph
Joseph led the Pacers in Game 2 with 14 points. He is averaging 10 points and 1.5 rebounds off the bench. He is shooting 53% from the field and 40% from beyond the arc. With Sabonis struggling, Joseph becomes more important off the bench for the team. Gordon Hayward is key for the Celtics. When he plays well, the Celtics usually win.
Keys to the GameDefense
- Defense wins Championships and for certain, defense will decide this series. The Celtics lead the league with a defensive rating of 86.8 and are also first in opponents points at 82.5. The Pacers are 5th with a defensive rating of 96.3 and are 2nd, holding the Celtics to 91.5 points per game. This game also will be a defensive dogfight and the team that plays the toughest, in your face, defense will likely get the win. It would be great if the Celtics could play tough defense from start to finish and not wait until the 3rd or 4th quarter to bring it out. Take Care of the Ball
- The Celtics have been turning the ball over 17 times per game in these playoffs while the Pacers are turning it over just 12.5 times per game. The Celtics were 3rd in the regular season with just 12.8 turnovers per game. They simply must take better care of the ball. They need to continue to make the extra pass and move the ball but they have to be more aware when they do because the turnovers have been hurting them in both of the first two games. Rebound
- Rebounding takes effort and desire and usually the team that wins the rebounding battle will come out on top in the game. In Game 1, the Celtics out-rebounded the Pacers 55-42. In Game 2, the Celtics out-rebounded the Pacers 48-36. The Celtics must continue to crash the boards as a team to beat the Pacers to rebounds in this game as well. Play 48 Minutes
- Games 1 and 2 followed a familiar script for the Celtics in that they started off slow, allowing the Pacers to go up by as many as 11 points in both games. They then played lock down defense and depended on the Pacers to self destruct in the 3rd and 4th quarters to get the win. The Celtics may not be able to get away with that on the road and need to play hard on both ends of the court for 48 minutes and not just for one or two quarters. Be Aggressive
- Brad Stevens and Nate McMillan both said before Game 1 that the more physical team would have the edge. The Celtics have to be the more aggressive team on the road, especially. They have to be aggressive going to the basket and getting into the paint. They have to be aggressive in beating the Pacers to loose balls and rebounds. They have to be the more aggressive team on defense and they have to play harder than the Pacers for 48 minutes.X-Factors On the Road
- The Celtics are on the road and are playing in a hostile environment. Pacers fans will be loud and will give the Pacers a boost and the Celtics have to counter that with their own hard play. The players have to focus on the game and block out all the distractions that come with playing on the road with a loud and hostile crowd. The Pacers are very good at home and so it will take extra effort and teamwork for the Celtics to win this one. They can't let the crowd and the Pacers, who will be more aggressive at home, fluster them and take them out of the game. Celtics Mindset
- We talk about Playoff Kyrie and Playoff Al and Playoff Celtics, and it's time for them to live up to those titles. The Celtics have to play as a team and especially channel the spirit of Marcus Smart to do all the little things that lead to a win. It's up to each player to buy into the team mindset and "rise together".