Boston Celtics at Indiana Pacers: Boston Looks To Rebound from Loss to Magic
The Indiana Pacers will look to hand the Boston Celtics their second straight loss when the two teams hook up at Conseco Fieldhouse tonight. The Celtics come in off their disappointing performance on Christmas Day against the Orlando Magic, losing 86-78 to snap a 14-game winning streak.
The Pacers also come in off a loss, as they fell 104-90 at home against Memphis on Sunday. The Celtics won the first meeting between these two teams, beating Indiana 99-88 at Boston. Taking a look at the NBA spreads for tonight's games, oddsmakers have the Celtics favored by 6 points over the Pacers on the road.
While the Celtics continued to win without Rondo, it was pretty clear that they needed him against the Magic on Saturday. The Celtics offense really struggled at times, and the 78 points they put up is now the new low mark of the season. Rondo will not be back for the Pacers game tonight.
The Celtics were also without Rondo in the first matchup with the Pacers. Paul Pierce led the way with a triple-double, and the Celtics shot lights out from the field, making 53.9 percent of their shots. Pierce finished with 18 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds. Nate Robinson also had 18 points while filling in for Rondo, but Robinson has struggled lately, scoring just 16 points in his last two games combined.
The Pacers couldn't buy a basket in their first matchup with the Celtics, as they shot just 35.4 percent from the field. Danny Granger led the way with 19 points, but was just 5-20. Roy Hibbert added 17 points, but he too struggled, connecting on just 8 of 23 shots.
The Pacers shooting hasn't got a whole lot better since their matchup with the Celtics. Indiana shot 42.5 percent in a 94-93 win over the Hornets, and then shot just 35.6 percent on Sunday against the Grizzlies. It's going to be hard for the Pacers to snap out of their funk tonight, as the Celtics are very strong on the defensive end, holding opponents to just 91.2 points per game.
The Celtics have only loss back-t0-back games once all season, so you have to expect them to come out with a ton of energy tonight. With the way the Pacers are shooting right now, I have a hard time seeing them coming away with a win in this one, and I think your best bet is on the Celtics -6. The Celtics are 17-4 ATS in road games off an embarrassing road loss scoring less than 80 points since 1996.