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ECF: Indiana Pacers vs Boston Celtics Series Preview, Odds, Picks

By ยท Updated 3 weeks ago
  • The Pacers surged back to defeat the Knicks in Game 7, advancing to the Conference Finals.
  • Boston had little trouble taking down the Cavaliers, winning the series in five games again.
  • The Celtics went 3-2 against Indiana this season, winning by an average margin of 12 points.

The NBA playoffs have reached the Conference Finals round. In the Eastern Conference, the Celtics remain heavily favored to make the Finals. They’ll be tasked with holding off a deep and scrappy Pacers team that has been proven capable of upsets.


How to Watch

  • Game 1 – May 21, 8:00 PM EDT, on ESPN
  • Game 2 – May 23, 8:00 PM EDT, on ESPN
  • Game 3 – May 25, 8:30 PM EDT, on ABC
  • Game 4 – May 27, 8:00 PM EDT, on ESPN
  • Game 5 – May 29, 8:00 PM EDT, on ESPN
  • Game 6 – May 31, 8:00 PM EDT, on ESPN
  • Game 7 – June 2, 8:00 PM EDT, on ESPN
  • *if necessary

Preview

The Pacers defeated the Knicks on the road in Game 7, completing another impressive upset. After falling behind 2-0 early on in the series, Indiana went on to win four of the next five games. It’s impossible to not mention New York being affected by injuries, but Indiana’s accomplishment in beating the Knicks is still one to celebrate. Their offense exploded for 130 points in Game 7. The Pacers will attempt to continue exceeding expectations as they prepare for a matchup with the Celtics.

Boston easily coasted past the competition in their first two playoff series, aside from a couple of uncharateristically poor Game 2s. C Kristaps Porzingis is making progress in his injury recovery, but is not expected to be available at the start of the series. While Boston has made due without him, it won’t be easy to keep up with a Pacers team that has a deep bench and high pace when not at full stregth. The Celtics need to avoid any early upsets in the series until Porzingis is able to return.


Prediction

Boston has been widely favored to win the Eastern Conference for the entire postseason, and not much has changed since the playoffs started. The Pacers face a monumental task in trying to eliminate them, even if Kristaps Porzingis misses some time in the series. Indiana was fortunate to face the Bucks and Knicks while they were quite depleted due to injuries. Aside from Porzingis, the Celtics are ready to go. It’s likely they prove too much for Indiana to handle.

NBA Picks

  • Celtics in 5 (BOS -500)
Keith McCarthy
Contributor Keith McCarthy is an experienced sports analyst with a passion for predicting the outcomes of games spanning across sports such as football, basketball, baseball, and hockey, with a special expertise in college sports.