Tuesday, March 11, 2014
W2W4: C's vs. Pacers (Game 64 of 82)
By Chris Forsberg
The Boston Celtics (22-41, 8-22 away) visit the Indiana Pacers (46-17, 29-4 home) on Tuesday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse (7 p.m., CSN). Here's what to watch for:
- KEEP IT MOVING: The Celtics, winners of two straight, are coming off one of their most unselfish performances of the season and need to maintain the ball movement that highlighted Sunday's win over the Detroit Pistons. Rajon Rondo handed out 18 assists with no turnovers as Boston registered a season-high 38 assists and season-low seven turnovers (this one game after the Celtics gave the ball away a season-high 28 times and still somehow defeated the Brooklyn Nets).
- PACERS NOT THEMSELVES: STATS LLC details the Pacers' recent woes: "Although the Pacers (46-17) are tied for the NBA lead with 92.2 points allowed per game and have given up a league-low 41.9 field-goal percentage, they surrendered an average of 108.7 points on 49.4 percent shooting during an 0-3 road trip." The Pacers have lost four straight overall. It calls to mind Boston teams of recent seasons that used to kick into cruise control before the playoffs. Can Boston pounce against a team that won by 27 during Stevens' first homecoming back in December?
- LOOSE BALLS: This is the fourth and final meeting of the season. The Pacers are 3-0 and defeated the Celtics in Boston 102-97 earlier this month. ... Celtics rookie Kelly Olynyk is coming on strong in the second half of his first NBA season. ... Boston is hoping to have shooting guard Avery Bradley back later this week, but Jerryd Bayless has settled into his starting spot in Bradley's absence. ... This is the first game of a back-to-back for Boston, who hosts the New York Knicks on Wednesday night. ... The Celtics haven't won three straight since the start of February. ... Boston enters 5 ½ games out of a final playoff spot with 19 games to play.
(Read full game preview)