Celtics Massive Favorites Against Pacers in Eastern Finals

The Celtics and Pacers set to do battle in the Eastern Conference Finals with a spot in the NBA

Finals on the line. On paper, Boston is the far more superior team racking up 17 more wins in

the regular season than Indiana. But the Pacers have gotten hot at the right time and come off

an NBA playoff record where they shot 67% from the field in Game 7 vs the Knicks.

Boston Celtics

The Celtics have been here before, it’s their third straight trip to the Conference Finals and sixth

in the last eight seasons. Boston has looked careless at times through two rounds but still have

a playoff-best 8-2 record. The C’s also have the highest net rating (12.8), the best point

differential in the playoffs (+114) and the biggest margin of victory (11.4). While they were an

astounding 37-4 at home during the regular season, Boston lost to the Heat and Cavs at TD

Gardens in their series.

Boston wins if…

The Celtics can find many ways to win this series but if they shut down Tyrese Haliburton, their

chances increase. Haliburton did not play well versus the Celtics in the regular season. In their

five playoff losses, Haliburton averaged just over 15 points and 7 assists in those games. If

Boston can slow him down, make him uncomfortable handling the ball, this series could be over

rather quickly.

Indiana Pacers

The Pacers went into MSG and dominated the Knicks in Game 7 shooting 77% in the first half

on their way to punching their ticket to this series. Indiana led the league in points (123 per

game), assists (31 per game) and field goal percentage (51%) during the regular season. And

that potent offense has continued in the postseason. Don’t forget this squad has experience in

big games, making a big run in the in-season tournament, losing in the championship game.

A mix of youth and experience has made the Pacers an intriguing opponent for the Celtics.

Indiana wins if…

They can turn this series into a run and run, high scoring affair. Indiana is a terrible defensive

team but can score at will. The Pacers are leading the playoffs in 3-point shooting (38.1) as well

as field goal percentage (50.7). Several players contribute offensively with Pascal Siakam

leading the way averaging over 21 points per game (Haliburton 18.8, Myles Turner 17.5). And

Indiana has seven players who are averaging double-digits in points during the playoffs.


While you can make a case for Indiana to keep this close, the Celtics are just too deep in talent

and experience. They also have home court advantage and are undefeated on the road in the

postseason. It would take a herculean effort by the Pacers to pull off the upset but all signs

point to the Celtics advancing to the NBA Finals.

Eastern Conference Series Odds

Indiana Pacers +600

Boston Celtics -820

Season Series head-to-head

Nov. 1: Pacers 104 Celtics 155

Dec. 4: Celtics 112 Pacers 122 (In-Season Tournament game)

Jan. 6: Celtics 118 Pacers 101

Jan. 8: Celtics 131 Pacers 133

Jan. 30: Pacers 124 Celtics 129


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