Well, that sucked


The Indiana Pacers lost a key game in the chase for playoff seeding.

The Indiana Pacers suck on national TV. And tonight was no exception. The Pacers were just atrocious in this basketball game.

100. Final. 117. 18. 97

Indiana officially no longer controls their destiny for homecourt advantage in the first round of the playoffs. In fact, the only way they can host a series now is if the Celtics lose their last two games and the Pacers win their last two. It’s possible, but it’s incredibly unlikely. Prepare for the 5-seed.

In this game, the Celtics did a fantastic job of cutting off the Pacers main scoring option. Bojan Bogdanovic was struggling to even get shots up (he only attempted 8) and they were all disrupted (he only hit 1). Boston deserves a ton of credit for the way they defended him.

On the flip side, the Pacers had no answer for Indy-native Gordon Hayward. He didn’t miss a shot on his way to 21 points. It was a historic game for him:

In general, all of the Celtics stars shot very well. That does not bode well for the playoffs. The Pacers are going to need to make some defensive adjustments if these two teams meet in the postseason.

Welcome back, Wesley.

Wesley Matthews returned from his hamstring injury and was able to play in this game. The Pacers needed him back, as they were rocking a three-guard rotation that last handful of games. Dudes were getting tired.

Matthews was fine, dropping 10 points on 10 shots. Hopefully, he can round into form before the postseason.

Celtics firepower.

Kyrie Irving set the tone early with a great first quarter. Gordon Hayward kept the momentum alive with a great second quarter (and whole game). Jayson Tatum heated up in the late second quarter. Al Horford‘s defense rocked the whole game.

When that Celtics team is on, they are really good. The Pacers are going to have to be way better and more crisp to beat them.

Rest time?

The Pacers are almost certainly the 5-seed. Like, the probability they finish 4th is less than 5%.

Knowing that, I think the Pacers should rest their high-minutes guys. The team is full of players who look exhausted, and 5 players are now over 2,000 minutes. Rest guys, let the kids play, and be ready to go and healthy for the playoffs.

Player grades:

CORY JOSEPH. C +. He finally hit a three! A long-bomb went in for him for the first time in over a half-dozen games. CoJo had quite a few hustle plays and good passes in the first half. His shot still wasn’t great, but he contributed.. PG. Indiana Pacers

C. Just glad he was back and healthy. He talked after the game about being “pissed” about this performance. He was just okay in this game, but he has the right attitude going forward.. SG. Indiana Pacers. WESLEY MATTHEWS

BOJAN BOGDANOVIC. D -. Only 4 points for Bojan. The Celtics found a way to defend him. And his defense wasn’t enough.. SF. Indiana Pacers

C. 5/10, 5 rebounds, 3 assists. His defense was just ok. He struggles with the Celtics two big lineup. He was a -24. Just okay from Thad.. PF. Indiana Pacers. THADDEUS YOUNG

B +. 15 points and 7 rebounds from Turner. One of the few effective players for the Pacers tonight.. C. Indiana Pacers. MYLES TURNER

B. 6/10 for 12 points and 6 rebounds. Sabonis was really good in the first half. He is crucial in the postseason.. C. Indiana Pacers. DOMANTAS SABONIS

SF. Indiana Pacers. DOUG MCDERMOTT. B. McDermott hit 2 threes! At home! He had 11 points on 7 shots, which is basically his exact role. He was solid.

C. 12 points and 7 rebounds. But, blah.. SG. Indiana Pacers. TYREKE EVANS

C +. 11 points – good! And he did it efficiently! 1 assist and 3 turnovers – bad! A pretty alright game from Holiday.. PG. Indiana Pacers. AARON HOLIDAY

D. 0/8 shooting. Yikes. 6 rebounds and +2, though.. PF. Indiana Pacers. TJ LEAF

B. A nice and-1 got him 3 points in 3 minutes. I really enjoy watching the kid.. SG. Indiana Pacers. EDMOND SUMNER

A -. 2 points, 1 rebound, and 1 assist in 6 minutes. +4. O’Quinn is so productive when he gets in the game.. C. Indiana Pacers. KYLE O'QUINN

ALIZE JOHNSON. -. Didn’t do enough to get a grade. It was nice to see him play.. PF. Indiana Pacers

Next. How Valuable is Home Court for the Indiana Pacers?. dark

The Pacers final home game is on Sunday at 5 PM against the Brooklyn Nets. Indiana will look to sweep the season series while the Nets fight for a playoff spot.