The Boston Celtics have been the favorite to win the NBA Finals for awhile now, and they are two series wins away from doing so. The Celtics knocked off the Cleveland Cavaliers in their last series, and they are now in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Indiana Pacers. Game one of the series took place on Tuesday night in Boston, and the Celtics barely survived and got a win to start the Eastern Conference Finals.

Boston came into this series against the Pacers as big favorites, and they were obviously big favorites in game one at home as well. The Celtics came into the game favored by 9.5 points, and they were looking to defend home court. It was close, but they got the job done.

As the heavy favorite to win the NBA Finals, there is a lot of pressure on the Celtics to meet expectations. They have had some disappointing finishes in the postseason in recent years, and they are trying to avoid that this season.

Chris Paul has never won an NBA championship, but he is very familiar with the pressure that is felt by teams that are favorites. He talked about it during halftime of game one, and he knows that the Celtics need to take everything one game at a time.

“Well when you're in the locker room with a team, they have great leadership obviously with JT (Jayson Tatum), Jaylen Brown and all them guys, but what you gotta try to do is block out the clutter,” Chris Paul said. “When I say the clutter, everyone thinks I mean social media, right? But sometimes it can actually be your family and your friends. You gotta take it one game at a time, every game is different. It takes on a mind of its own every game, but the thing is that after games, every one says what your teammates did so bad. This guy couldn't make a shot, this guy couldn't do this. You have to focus on yourself and remember that it's a long series and you have to take it one game at a time.”

Game one was a thriller

Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) drives to the basket against Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner (33) in the second quarter during game one of the eastern conference finals for the 2024 NBA playoffs at TD Garden.
© David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Game one of the Eastern Conference Finals did not disappoint. The Pacers were big underdogs on the road, but they came ready to play, and they really should've won this game. They led for the majority of the late stages of the fourth quarter, but a crazy three from Jaylen Brown tied the game with five seconds left, and the game ended up going to overtime.

The Celtics led for a good portion of this game and they were up by as many as 13 points in the second half. Indiana did a great job to get back in the game, and when they took a five point lead with under two minutes remaining, it really looked like they were going to find a way to win. Boston fought their way back, however, and they got the game into overtime.

Overtime was tight, but the Celtics ended up making the winning plays late, and they got the win, 133-128. Boston is now up 1-0, and game two of the series will take place on Thursday night.