3 Pacers peaking at the right time ahead of Eastern Conference Finals series vs Boston Celtics

New Orleans Pelicans v Indiana Pacers
New Orleans Pelicans v Indiana Pacers / Dylan Buell/GettyImages
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The Indiana Pacers outlasted the injury-depleted New York Knicks in seven games in the Eastern Conference Semifinals to punch their ticket to an Eastern Conference Finals series with the Boston Celtics.

While few expected the No. 6 seed in the east to escape a side of the bracket that included perhaps the two biggest threats outside of the Cs, the Knicks and Milwaukee Bucks, good fortunes have led the NBA In-Season Tournament runner-ups to their first conference finals trip in a decade.

Can they knock off Boston? Oddsmakers have the Celtics as massive favorites thus far, with the opening line being -900. So long story short; yes, but it'd take a minor miracle for that to happen.

Miracles happen, though, and these three Pacers give Indiana a better chance for that to happen.

Pascal Siakam

Pascal Siakam was a monster from the mid-range against the Knicks all series, getting to his spot at the elbow and draining fadeaway after fadeaway in a Paul Pierce-like manner. The January trade acquisition was a major difference-maker against New York, averaging 20 points, six rebounds, three assists, and a steal per game on a 53/40/71 shooting slash.

Siakam is a two-way contributor, but his defense on Jayson Tatum could earn him a few extra million this offseason if he can slow down the Celtics' No. 1 option. While no Cs fan would look forward to the Tatum discourse in that scenario, they'd look forward to a big Pacers frontcourt having their way with a Boston team missing Kristaps Porzingis less.

It might not be hyperbole to say that Siakam may be the most important player for the Pacers in the Eastern Conference Finals.