Time: 7:00 PM EST, Monday, March 28th, 2011
Venue: Conseco Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
Officials: Ed Malloy, Rodney Mott, Haywoode Workman (click to see breakdown)
TV: CSNNE, FSI, SNET1, NBA-LP 753/754 Radio: WEEI, WFNI
The Line: Celtics are a half game up on Miami for 2nd in the East, the
Pacers are 1 game up on Charlotte for the 8th seed, and 2 games up on
Milwaukee.The Celtics are 3-0 against Indiana so far this season.
Matchup Of The Night: Kevin Garnett V Tyler Hansbrough
In 4 of the Pacers' last 5 wins, Tyler 'Psycho T' Hansbrough has scored 20 points per game or more. I don't know if it is March Madness (I mean like a bi-polar thing, not some basketball tournament) or what but in the month of March since becoming the official starter, Hansbrough has averaged over 18 ppg, and that number has been bolstered considerably by a few standout performances, mostly in wins.
The last time the Celtics beat the Pacers, KG held a then-scorching (he had just scored 20ppg or better in the last 5 previous games) Hansbrough to 10 points and 28% shooting performance over 36 total minutes. If the Celtics want to land consecutive wins tonight, they're going to need something similar from KG and Glen Davis.
Three Keys To The Game For The Good Guys
1) Play The Entire 48 Minutes- The Celtics collapse against Charlotte friday, and drop the game. They collapse against Minnesota last night, and nearly lose the game. The Celtics might as well procure a Lifecall necklace for all the times they've managed to stumble and fall down during the end stretch of games. Luckily, Sunday, they managed to get back up...but they won't do it everytime. They need 48 minutes of complete, motivated play, and the last time they managed that was against..you guessed it...Indiana.
2) Hit Those Jumpers, Or Go To The Painted Area More..But Choose One! Or Both! AH! JUST SCORE THE BALL!!!- I'm not going to sugarcoat it...the Celtics are weak on offense. They're about as offensive as Wayne Brady. They score about as often as Corey from Boy Meets World. They need to be more Shawn, less Corey.
What's that? You want one more obscure pop reference? The Celtics' offense is sputtering worse than King George The Sixth in that movie I'll never see. There are more theories on why this is than there are thoughts on who shot JFK, but in the end its gotta come down to execution. The Celtics need to hit their shots when they're open, and execute and move the ball to get better looks when they're not.
3) Smart Beats Athletic When Athletic Gets Frustrated- How do you beat a young athletic team? You're not faster, you're not able to jump higher or dunk better. The Celtics need to stick to their gameplan and work smart as well as hard. The Pacers, as we saw last time, can get frustrated early, and virutally take themselves out of the game. Danny Granger hit a wall somewhere in the third quarter the last time the two teams played, and you could see it in his eyes that he didn't care anymore. The Celtics need to crush the Pacers mentally, because if it turns into a footrace, the Celtics will lose.
Probable starting lineups, injury reports, and team connections courtesy of CelticsBlog Superhero, FLCeltsFan
Delonte West vs Darren Collison
Ray Allen vs Paul George
Paul Pierce vs Danny Granger
Kevin Garnett vs Tyler Hansbrough
Nenad Krstic vs Roy Hibbert
Shaquille O'Neal (Achilles) out
Jermaine O'Neal (knee) day to day
Troy Murphy (ankle) day to day
Von Wafer (calf) day to day
Rajon Rondo (pinky) questionable
Mike Dunleavy (thumb) out
Avery Bradley and T.J. Ford both attended the University of Texas
James Posey played for the Celtics during the 2007-08 season and was a member of the 2008 Championship team
A.J. Price and Rajon Rondo both attended the University of Kentucky
Brandon Rush and Paul Pierce both attended the University of Kansas
Shaquille O’Neal and James Posey were teammates in Miami from 2005-07
Jermaine O’Neal played for the Pacers from 2000-08
Pacers Assistant Coaches Walter McCarty (1997-2005) and Vitaly Potapenko (1998-2002) both played previously for the Celtics
Pacers coach Frank Vogel was an assistant coach under Jim O’Brien with the Celtics from 2001-04
Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird won three championships with the Celtics and had his #33 retired on 2/4/93