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Indiana Pacers v Boston Celtics - Game One

Source: Maddie Meyer / Getty

I’d be lying if I said I was over the Pacers gagging away game 1 against the Celtics on Tuesday. What an amazingly terrible way to lose. But as we start to emerge from the malaise of the loss, there is reason to still feel a shred of confidence and hope.


Because THESE Pacers aren’t going away. Their superpower all year has been the ability to bounce back after lady luck didn’t go their way. So, what needs to happen for a win? Check out 5 of my many thoughts as we head into game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals…

1. Turnovers, oh my god the turnovers!

Indiana Pacers (128) Vs. Boston Celtics (133) At TD Garden Source:Getty

If you could point to one area that was both critical to the Pacers losing and uncharacteristic of how they play it would be the turnover numbers…22 of them led to 32 Boston points. Not to mention three critical ones by Haliburton in the final moments.

Again, this is very uncharacteristic of the Pacers. In the playoffs they’ve averaged just 12 per game. It goes without saying the Pacers cannot turn the ball over at this clip and Haliburton must be better in crunch time. 

2. The bench will continue to dominate…

Indiana Pacers v Boston Celtics - Game One Source:Getty

In the seven-game series against the Knicks TJ McConnell and Obi Toppin entered the game together around the 6:30 mark of the 1st quarter. Last night it was with 7:14 left in the first. And guess what, I hope we see the same in game 2.

I believe in the Pacers bench and the quality depth they provide. I believe a few of the guys could be starters on another team. And I believe they’ll outplay the Celtics in game 2. Pritchard is a nice player and had some moments early, but Hauser/Kornet look over matched at times.

The Pacers benched scored 30 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, and dished out 9 assists on Tuesday.

3. Will Haliburton and Siakam consistently give you THAT?

Indiana Pacers v Boston Celtics - Game One Source:Getty

Outside of the turnovers (yes, I know that’s impossible to ignore) I thought Haliburton was engaged and really pretty good. Can you get 22-25 points and 8 plus assists from him every night? He’s had some vanishing acts, but I’ll bet he’s pretty good in game 2.

As for Siakam, he looked like a guy (until, yes, the very end) that would be worthy of a max contract. Siakam is averaging 23 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 5 assists over the last three games. With the dynamic wing players Boston can throw out there, Siakam’s importance has never been higher.

4. WTF FT!

Indiana Pacers v Boston Celtics - Game One Source:Getty

There’s no doubt the free throw discrepancy in game 2 was ridiculous and a little predictable…Celtics 24-30, Pacers 9-10. I will say there are 2 sides to this story…1) in the regular season the Pacers were just 22nd in the league FTA (20.5) and 21st in makes (16.1) and 2) the postseason has been little better…14th in attempts, 15th in makes.

But we all agree that it can’t be a 3-1 discrepancy in game 2. I don’t think Carlisle wants to be fined again 🙂

5. Vegas spread continues to be big…

Super Bowl LVIII - Previews Source:Getty

As I type this the Pacers/Celtics sits at Boston -9 at most sportsbooks. It opened at 10 and quickly moved down. Additionally, the over/under has moved from 226.5 to 224.5. 

It’s hard for me not to like the Pacers and the “over” again Thursday. If they don’t hit the Pacers will be down 0-2 heading to Indy on Saturday. 

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