Introduction: The Indiana Pacers host the Boston Celtics on Saturday night in a rematch of their New Year's Day contest. The Pacers will be seeking revenge after falling to the Celtics 141-118 just six days ago. Indiana currently sits at 23-18, good for sixth place in the Eastern Conference, while Boston leads the East with a league-best 27-12 record.
Pacers Trying to Solve Celtics' Balanced Attack
The Celtics posed plenty of problems for the Pacers earlier this week, as six Boston players scored in double figures. Jaylen Brown led the charge with 32 points, while Jayson Tatum added 31 in an overpowering offensive performance. Indiana will need to find more ways to get stops if they want to take down one of the top teams in basketball.
Tyrese Haliburton Continues All-Star Caliber Year
If the Pacers are going to keep up with Boston's scoring, they’ll need another huge night from guard Tyrese Haliburton. The third-year pro is averaging 20.2 points and 10.2 assists per game while establishing himself as one of the best young playmakers in the NBA. Haliburton’s dazzling passes and clutch shooting make him must-see entertainment. He should be a lock for his first All-Star selection next month if he keeps up this level of play.
Myles Turner's Presence Crucial Inside
While the guard matchup features some of the game's best talents, much of this contest could come down to the battle in the paint. Indiana center Myles Turner remains one of the league's top shot blockers, averaging 2.4 rejections per game this season. Turner will have his hands full against Boston’s physical frontline of Al Horford, Robert Williams III and more. If Turner can protect the rim and score efficiently on the offensive end, it would give Indiana a major boost at home.
In their first meeting of 2023, the Pacers will hope Haliburton and Turner can lead the way to getting revenge on the Eastern Conference-leading Celtics. With the season nearing its halfway point, Indiana needs statement wins like this to solidify their place in the playoff picture going forward.