The Indiana Pacers have learned to salvage broken plays on varying lengths. Tyrese Haliburton knows how to get his teammates the ball inside the paint, on the perimeter, or even make them open for a post-up. This got them the best offense in the league with a whopping 123.8 offensive rating. Joe Mazzulla and the Boston Celtics are going to have to contain these weapons to advance in the NBA In-Season Tournament. Jrue Holiday and Derrick White will be there to carry out their duties. But, Kristaps Porzingis? Not really.
Joe Mazzulla is not going to have his stretch-forward and rim protector for the NBA In-Season Tournament quarterfinals, per the Jay King of The Athletic. This is a huge blow to the squad because of how elite Tyrese Haliburton and the Pacers could throw lobs for easy baskets. More than this, Kristaps Porzingis is an elite defender on drop coverage which lessens their ability to switch on the perimeter.
The Celtics star big man is currently nursing a calf injury. The team will err on the side of caution such that his injury does not get worse down the line. However, Mazzulla's Celtics system will still have Al Horford and young Neemias Queta to man the paint.
Derrick White and Jrue Holiday will be the most important duo for the Celtics in this matchup. If they prevent Haliburton from getting lanes to drive or pass inside, the big men are going to have an easier time. Will the Celtics win it all?