The Boston Celtics host the Indiana Pacers to open the Eastern Conference finals. Boston went 3-2 against Indiana during the regular season. The Pacers won the last regular season meeting 122-112 on Dec. 5 led by 26 points from Tyrese Haliburton, while Jayson Tatum scored 32 points for the Celtics.

The Celtics are 41-11 against Eastern Conference opponents. Boston is 6-7 in games decided by less than 4 points.

The Pacers are 32-20 in Eastern Conference play. Indiana leads the Eastern Conference with 30.8 assists. Haliburton leads the Pacers with 10.9.

The Celtics score 120.6 points per game, 0.4 more points than the 120.2 the Pacers allow. The Pacers are shooting 50.7% from the field, 5.4% higher than the 45.3% the Celtics’ opponents have shot this season.

Tatum is averaging 26.9 points, 8.1 rebounds and 4.9 assists for the Celtics. Jaylen Brown is averaging 23.1 points and 6.6 rebounds over the past 10 games.

Pascal Siakam is scoring 21.7 points per game with 7.1 rebounds and 4.3 assists for the Pacers. Haliburton is averaging 20.6 points and 4.4 rebounds while shooting 51.3% over the past 10 games.

Celtics: 8-2, averaging 108.1 points, 44.9 rebounds, 22.7 assists, 5.1 steals and 5.0 blocks per game while shooting 48.0% from the field. Their opponents have averaged 96.7 points per game.

Pacers: 6-4, averaging 114.5 points, 38.7 rebounds, 30.1 assists, 5.9 steals and 5.6 blocks per game while shooting 52.3% from the field. Their opponents have averaged 110.5 points.

The Celtics have overwhelmed two playoff opponents thus far with five-game victories over the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference first round and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the East semifinals. In both situations, Boston stumbled in Game 2 on its home floor only to close out the series with authority with three consecutive wins.

In the most recent series against Cleveland, Jayson Tatum teased a potential jump to the next level with a dominant five games where he averaged 26.8 points, 10.4 rebounds and 6.2 assists in 40.4 minutes per night. While he failed to shoot 50 percent from the floor in four of five games, Tatum was sharp from the free throw line (94.6%) and found a way to command games in other areas on offense and defense.

For the Pacers, the play of young All-Star guard Tyrese Haliburton carries the same amount of weight as Tatum’s role for the Celtics. Haliburton has shown he doesn’t want to force action when it’s not there, but the Pacers have been largely successful in the games he does. He took just six shots in a Game 1 loss to the Knicks and had nine attempts in Game 5, which was a blowout Knicks win.

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