Friday 19th April 2019

Event of the Day: Indiana Pacers versus Boston Celtics

Our event of the day is the NBA playoff fixture between the Indiana Pacers and the Boston Celtics at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. As the series travels to Indiana, Boston holds a 2-0 lead. Kyrie Irving and Jayson Tatum have led the Celtics with a dominant flourish, finally showing the Celtics pundits expected. Meanwhile, the Pacers will try to hold off the Celtics and mount a comeback in this unmissable playoff series. Finally, the Celtics are starting to show why they were widely labelled as the preseason favourites in the Eastern Conference. As the series travels 805 miles west from Boston to Indianapolis, the Celtics hold a commanding 2-0 lead. Kyrie Irving, the eight-year veteran and the undisputed team leader in Boston, has been the key piece in the first two games. Kyrie is sitting on 57 points, 13 rebounds and 14 assists through the first two games in Boston. This has been crucial, especially as game two saw three Boston starters fail to make double-digits in points scored.

However, Kyrie is just one man and with a minute remaining in game two, Boston were down 91-89 with their star going cold. Enter Jayson Tatum, Boston’s 21-year-old clutch specialist. Eight of the ten points Boston scored in the final sixty seconds were credited to Tatum as either points scored or as an assist. This was aided by the Pacers’ decision to overuse Bojan Bogdanović. The small forward was on a hot streak going into the final few minutes of the game but this was misconstrued by Pacers staff and the three-point shooter found himself playing in iso-dominant situations that are far from his strengths. Despite this, the Celtics will need the rest of their starters to find their groove as Kyrie and Tatum can’t hold off the scrappy Pacers on their own. To their credit, the Pacers are giving the Celtics a run for their money. Many ruled out a deep playoff run for Indiana after the loss of their star Victor Oladipo in January. However, they have rallied and fought to maintain a good playoff seeding and have managed to keep themselves within ten points of Boston in game one and within eight points in game two. Unfortunately, history is not on the side of the Pacers. They are 0-6 in playoffs series when they have trailed 2-0 while their head coach is 0-2 in the playoffs during his coaching career. Those are weighty statistics but the elite defence and strong, well-balanced roster of the Pacers will give it a good go. Be sure you don’t miss tonight’s action.

Honourable mentions around the globe go to the NHL, where the Nashville Predators host the Dallas Stars at the Bridgestone Arena for game five of their first round playoff series. The two sides are tied 2-2 after a fierce back and forth start to the series. Most recently, the Stars broke the run of 1-goal games with a 5-1 victory in Dallas on Wednesday. The Stars last made the second round in 2016 while the Predators look to progress past the first round for the fourth consecutive season. Be sure you don’t miss the next exciting match in this playoff series. Elsewhere, in the MLB, the Texas Rangers begin a three-game series against the Houston Astros at Globe Life Park in Arlington. In cricket, the Royal London One-Day Cup continues across England. In the MLS, FC Cincinnati host Real Salt Lake at Nippert Stadium. On the PGA Tour, the RBC Heritage continues at the Harbour Town Golf Links on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!

Fixture

Photos by NBA

 

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