When the dust had settled following the passing of the NBA trade deadline, most experts agreed that the Indiana Pacers had taken a huge
step toward becoming the team to beat in the Eastern Conference.
Now look at them: after beating the Boston Celtics 102-97 ten days ago, the Pacers have lost four games in a row, including a 26-point drubbing at the hands of the Houston Rockets last Friday. How you likin’ Evan Turner now, Indiana?
Ah – I can’t lay all of the blame for Indiana’s poor play on Turner. For starters, Turner was having a good season in Philly, but most people knew that was because the 76ers offense was handing the ball to Turner 26 million times a half, and that Indiana was not going to give Turner that degree of freedom. Indiana’s new acquisition is going to have to figure out his role in the offense, and it will take more than eight games to do so.
The biggest problem plaguing the Pacers right now, surprisingly, is their inability to get stops on defense. The Pacers did not look like the team that gives up only 92.2 points per game, and holds opponents to 41.9% field goal shooting, on its latest road trip. Instead, they allowed almost 109 points and 49% shooting on its three-game road trip, definitely not Frank Vogel basketball.
Indiana may benefit from having Andrew Bynum in the lineup for the first time since they signed him. Then again, it’s Andrew Bynum – who knows what he’ll do on the court tonight.
Then again, it might not matter how Bynum or even Turner play tonight, since there are only a handful of teams in the NBA who a team with a losing record would rather face more than the Celtics. In three games against the Pacers this season, Boston is only averaging 86 points and have lost each of those games by an average of almost 16 points. Yes, two of those losses came without Rajon Rondo in the lineup, and yes, the one game that Rondo did suit up for was the hard-fought game that Indiana barely won. Still, the Pacers (and Paul george especially) seem to have the Celtics’ number right now. It will take a second-straight superb effort from Rondo to lead Boston to the upset in Bankers Life Fieldhouse tonight. It also wouldn’t hurt if Jeff Green could find the same scoring touch he displays when the Pacers visit TD Garden (47 combined points in two home games) on the road (only 11 points the previous time the Celtics visited the Pacers).
The game is set to tip-off tonight at 7 p.m. Follow us on Twitter @HoudiniCeltics, and check back in for out reactions following the game!
Tags: Boston Celtics