Ranking the Pacers possible playoff opponents from most to least intimidating

With the Pacers set to participate in at least the Play-In tournament soon, let's take a look at who they may face in the playoffs.

Indiana Pacers v Milwaukee Bucks
Indiana Pacers v Milwaukee Bucks / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages
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Most Intimidating: Boston Celtics

Need I say more?

If you ask every playoff team in the league, regardless of conference, the Boston Celtics will most likely be near the bottom if not at the bottom of the list of teams they want to face in the playoffs. Ideally, a dream playoff scenario for the other eight East playoff teams involves not running into the Celtics until the conference finals.

This is not based on hearsay either, as the Celtics hold a winning record against 21 teams this season, including six of the top eight seeds in the East. This includes the Pacers, as while Indiana has one of the more respectable records against Boston of any team this season at 3-2, that will most likely change in a hypothetical playoff matchup.

Looking at individual win stats, the Celtics have been dominant this season, as they are 36-4 in games decided by 10 or more points, 31-13 against winning teams, and 26-3 against losing teams. In addition to this, the Celtics might be the only team in the league who can beat the Pacers at their own game, ranking second in the league in points per game at 121.1, second in three-point percentage at 39%, second in rebounds with 46.4, first in blocks with 6.6, and are the runaway leaders in plus/minus at +11.4, meaning, on average, a Celtics game ends in a double-digit win.

This is not to say Boston is completely invincible. They rank second-worst in the league in offensive rating in losses, only ahead of the Washington Wizards. It would take a strong defensive team to beat them in a series such as the Knicks, a team with more top-end star power such as the Nuggets, or a team with a possible mental advantage, such as the Miami Heat, to beat them in a series. Unfortunately, the Pacers tick none of these boxes, and despite an impressive head-to-head record, Indiana would be lucky to extend the series to five or six games against Jayson Tatum and company.