NBA Odds – Indiana Pacers at Boston Celtics
Zack GarrisonNo comments
The Indiana Pacers (1-4) will visit TD Garden tonight (at 7:30 p.m. Eastern) to face the Boston Celtics (1-3) in an important game for both teams.
The Pacers and Celtics have struggled in the early part of the year, posting just two wins between them. Tonight’s winner will climb closer to respectability, while the loser will be tied for second-last in the Conference.
In the last ten head-to-head meetings, Indiana has a 6-4 edge over Boston. The Pacers have also taken four straight from the Celts dating back to June 2013. However, thanks to injuries and off-season moves, this year’s Pacers squad looks starkly different than last year’s team, which finished first in the Eastern Conference. Gone is Lance Stephenson, who is now wearing Charlotte colors; and missing is Paul George, who suffered a gruesome injury playing for the US National Team in the summer.
The Celtics come into the game as the second highest scoring team in the league (108. PPG). But, after starting the year with a 121-105 win over the Nets, the Celtics have dropped three straight: 104-90 at Houston, 118-113 at Dallas, and 110-107 at home to Toronto.
Jeff Green has led the Celtics attack, pouring in 23.0 PPG, and Rajon Rondo has done his job at the point, averaging 11.7 APG. But, as their 1-3 record implies, the Celtics have not been able to keep the ball out of their own basket. They are 29th in the league in points allowed, conceding 109.0 per game.
Tonight’s game should be a contrast in styles, as the Pacers rely on a frugal defense to keep games close. They are sixth in the league in points allowed at 94.3 and third in rebounds per game with 46.3. Roy Hibbert has been a terror at the defensive end, pulling down 7.3 defensive rebounds per game and averaging 4.2 blocks. The Pacers’ offense is scoring just 91.3 PPG, though, 25th in the NBA.
The odds have the Celtics as 5.5-point favorites.