Indiana Pacers at Boston Celtics - 4/14/19 NBA Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Meet the Pacers Scouting what the Celtics must overcome in the first round

Meet the Pacers Scouting what the Celtics must overcome in the first round

"Today, he did a really good job of being spaced and being able to knock down shots". "Everyone loves to make their predictions after that Game 1".

The NBA has been trending in an offensive direction over the last few seasons, but in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals Sunday afternoon, the Boston Celtics brought defense back in style. It was the first playoff game since 2017 for Irving and Hayward after each missed last year's post-season with injuries. "I just really want to be aggressive and really be the head of the snake".

According to ESPN Stats & Information, the Pacers shot 13-for-20 from the field (and 3-for-7 from 3-point range) on uncontested shots in the first half.

Larry Legend received a thunderous ovation from Celtics fans when he was shown on the jumbotron during the third quarter.

But given how things started in Toronto and Philadelphia this weekend, the Celtics will take a win and a lead over the alternative. The 29 points that IN scored IN the second half were its worst of the season.

Cory Joseph had 14 points for the Pacers. Bojan Bogdanovic was the lone Pacers starter in double figures with 12 points.

- It was turnovers galore in Game 1, and neither team was immune. Boston hit just 36% (28 of 77) and had 20 turnovers.

The C's turned the ball over 17 times in total. "We know them very well".

"We just had to turn that page", he said.

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"I knew that our length and our versatility were going to be a positive for us, especially in this series", said Kyrie Irving, whose 20 points represented a game-high in the scoring column along with teammate Marcus Morris. So we come out, any time in the game, runs can happen.

As the first half wore on, there were plenty of people inside TD Garden wondering if the Celtics would find a way to generate momentum. They finished the quarter 2 for 19 from the field. "I thought he played really big and strong".

Likewise, Stevens said his team found something in that quarter. "But that third quarter really killed us". "We were really flying around". In truth, though, the Pacers' issues were as much their own doing as anything the Celtics did.

The Boston Celtics are in the playoffs for a fifth straight season and haven't been bounced in the first round since 2015-16. The lead grew to 84-62 on a 3-pointer by Tatum with 3:34 remaining.

Marcus Smart will miss the first round with a torn oblique muscle but Boston can plug either Gordon Hayward or Jaylen Brown into the starting rotation.

But after an up-and-down regular season that often felt like an underwhelming, extended prelude to the playoffs, things didn't feel much different in the postseason.

The change paid off with Morris going 3 of 4 in the period, including two 3-pointers, and scoring 12 points. No other Celtics player had more than two points.

While his team was able to recover from a dismal start, Stevens said the Pacers' defence deserved credit for making things hard on them throughout the game. "I got a couple of bigs guarding me, so I'm just trying to space the floor and read their closeouts [and] trying to let the game come to me". But it's tough. Those guys are physical. "I think I played 70-something games so it's a time to relax, reflect on the season, and just get better", he said.

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