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Boston Celtics at Indiana Pacers

Team Totals: Celtics 114.8, Pacers 106.8

Injury Report: Kristaps Porzingis (O, calf), Luke Kornet (Q, wrist), Tyrese Haliburton (Q, hamstring), Jrue Holiday (Q, illness)

Pacers projected starters: Andrew Nembhard, Ben Sheppard, Aaron Nesmith, Pascal Siakam, Myles Turner

Celtics projected starters: Jrue Holiday, Derrick White, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Al Horford

Offensive Ranks Pacers 2nd, Celtics 1st
Defensive Ranks: Pacers 24th, Celtics 3rd

Carlisle quotes: Said he loved how they competed and they will come at it even harder, told a reporter that he watched everything and he didn’t need to reminder him of how they blew the lead, said he trusts his guys to play without a time out, said the guys played a courageous game, said “do you want me to hand you our playbook?” on their last pla, said “we are going after them” in Game 4.

Mazzulla quotes: Said he has “no idea” if KP or Kornet can play on Game 4, said they knew the Pacers were going to bring it without Haliburton, said he knew Jrue was going to play and he “made a big-time play” on the late steal, said he liked their offense overall and they had some trouble on matching up, said down the stretch they had “high-level execution” to get the win, said they had a great mindset to come down from double digits on the road, said they found something in zone, said you’re going to be trailing in the playoffs at some point and you have to embrace it, said they were taking the shots that were available (asked about doubling them up on 3PAs).

Stats and Notes:

Rim points per game: Pacers 1st, Celtics 19th

Rim points allowed per game: Pacers 29th, Celtics 3rd

Catch and shoot points per game: Pacers 11th, Celtics 1st

Catch and shoot points allowed per game: Pacers 1st, Celtics 10th

PNR handler scoring per game: Pacers 4th, Celtics 21st

PNR handler scoring allowed per game: Pacers 30th, Celtics 25th

Transition scoring per game: Pacers 2nd, Celtics 9th

Transition scoring allowed per game: Pacers 15th, Celtics 4th

*What a close from the Celtics on Saturday. They came back from down 18 and were down eight with 2:38 left. Jrue Holiday’s defense was incredible and they finally had the shot making on the other end. We’ve only seen 14 minutes of clutch time for the Celtics in these playoffs, but they have a +37.5 net rating. They’ve been awesome down the stretch when they need to dig deep. Meanwhile, the Pacers have 35 minutes of clutch time and they’re at -13.3 net rating. Rick Carlisle did kind of screw up again late when they didn’t call timeout to draw up a play with under a minute left. For the Pacers on offense overall, it was constant rim attacks with 49 rim points and they won the points-in-the-paint battle 68-40. The Pacers also didn’t miss Tyrese Haliburton with their 19 transition possessions, and their on-ball scoring was solid. The thing that hurt the Pacers the most was their 0.79 PPP on spot ups. They ran particularly badly on guarded C&S stuff at two points on nine attempts (0.22 PPP), and that’s definitely where they missed Haliburton the most. They needed more passing and Haliburton is one of their better 3-point shooters (Pacers have higher 3-point rate with Haliburton on the floor). Boston did mix in seven zone possessions and they went poorly at 1.57 PPP, but they were doing OK with that stuff in the T.J. McConnell minutes earlier this series. I’d expect to see some of it again.  For the Boston offense, they buried the Pacers with a whopping 33 points on unguarded C&S shots (21 attempts, 1.57 PPP), and those 33 points are the most they’ve had since Apr. 9. Those 33 points on C&S are the most the Pacers have given up all year. It was very uncharacteristic to give up all those open looks, but that’s just how the Celtics wanted to attack the Indiana defense.

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