Indiana Pacers (10-1) at Boston Celtics (4-9)
Finally, some familiarity for Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens at home against the Indiana Pacers. Stevens will coach on the opposite side of good friend and Indiana Pacers head coach, Frank Vogel.
Stevens entered unknown territory this past summer when he left the Butler Bulldogs to take his current job as the leader of the Boston Celtics. The Celtics coach has never led an NBA team, not to mention one of the league’s all-time greatest franchises. It should be refreshing for Stevens to visit with and battle against his good friend in Vogel.
Speaking of battle, there is a game to be played tonight at TD Bank Garden as the streaking Indiana Pacers visit the struggling Boston Celtics.
Indiana is coming off a hard-fought victory at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night versus the New York Knicks, when Paul George caught fire en route to a game-high 35 points. George scored 21 of his 35 in the fourth quarter and overtime. He also outscored the Knicks by himself in the extra session, 9-7. It was nothing short of domination.
I expect George to build off the confidence he has shown through the Pacers’ first 11 games, and especially his performance Wednesday night. It was an MVP-like show that Paul George put on under the bright lights of New York City.
Any way you slice it, Boston does not present an immediate answer for George on the defensive side of the ball. They are young and learning, as is their head coach. All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo is still recovering from injury and is out indefinitely, leaving it to the inexperienced players in search of victories.
Jeff Green is most likely to get the assignment of guarding George, and vice versa. That will be the matchup to watch tonight, because Green is more than capable of putting up points in bunches as well. Expect George to out-duel Green.
The other matchup(s) to watch will be the bigs battling in the post. Rookie Kelly Olynyk will attempt to slow Roy Hibbert of Indiana, while youngster Jared Sullinger gets the task of guarding veteran David West. This should be no contest for the blue and gold.
The Indiana Pacers wreak havoc on the Boston Celtics tonight across the board. Boston is simply overmatched going up against an experienced and talented Indiana squad. Pacers cruise 98-81.