Pacers-Celtics Preview: Tough Road Match-Up

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At 12-13, the Indiana Pacers are at a good mark towards the ending of the 2010 year. As they enter 2011 for the rest of the NBA season, the playoffs need to be on their mind. And if they do in fact make it to the playoffs, they may face the team they are facing today in Boston, as they take on the Celtics. The Celtics have been rolling with a 21-4 record.

Accu Score predicts a 30-percent chance for the Pacers to win while the C’s have a 70-percent chance.

But the Pacers may have a chance at winning. Rajon Rondo is out as well as Jermaine O’Neal, Shaquille O’Neal, and Kendrick Perkins. Roy Hibbert may be having a good game. But the Celtics still have been playing very strong even without their important players. Just ask Kevin Garnett.

“What are you going to do? Quit? Put your clothes on and go home?” Kevin Garnett said. “That’s not what we do here.

“We are just out here grinding. There’s nothing else to say. Every player is giving everything they have. In order for us to win these games, we just have to give everything we have until we get guys back.”

Shaq may play but if he and Semih Erden are a no-go, then Glen Davis will make the start at center. Danny Grnager is coming off a huge game recently after suffering from an ankle injury and a slump, too, but he put up 30 points and twelve rebounds in a win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Pacers somehow do pretty good in their debut match-ups against Boston, after observing from the past few seasons. The C’s are on a twelve-game win-streak.

Granger is the key to winning. If he can play like he did with the Cavs, Indiana could be good to go.

“I went through a stretch when I wasn’t being very aggressive or assertive offensively,” Granger said. “I made a point to just go out and try to be an assassin. That philosophy works better for me. Other games I’ve been coasting. I have to be aggressive.”

Indiana is so far 12-5 when Granger scores at least 18 points. Granger has struggled, however, with the Celtics in his career, scoring only 11.3 points per game. The key for the win is Roy Hibbert. He has been in a slump but if he can rebound and get the points like he has against a weak team down low (which the Celtics are right now at this point), Indiana could be good to go.

And that is why I have them for the upset.

Go Pacers!

Tags: Boston Celtics Danny Granger Darren Collison Glen Davis Indiana Pacers Kevin Garnett NBA Rajon Rondo Roy Hibbert