The Indiana Pacers and the Boston Celtics are the only two remaining teams in the East, and they kicked off the Eastern Conference Finals on Tuesday night in Boston. The Celtics were the best team in the NBA this season and they had far and away the best regular season record. They came into the playoffs with the best odds to win it all. They are now two series wins away from a championship, and Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle knows that this series won't be easy.

There is a reason why the Celtics were the best team in basketball this year. They are riddled with talent across their roster, and they create matchup nightmares for opposing teams. They have so many threats that it's hard their competition to have an answer for everyone, and Rick Carlisle knows that guarding them in this series is going to be a big challenge.

“These guys are almost impossible to match up with, due to their size and skill,” Carlisle said before game one, according to a tweet from Tim Bontemps.

Boston has found a way to cruise so far in the playoffs as they have taken down the Miami Heat and the Cleveland Cavaliers in their first two series. Both the Heat and the Cavaliers surprisingly won game two of their respective series on the road against the Celtics, but both teams lost in just five games. Carlisle and the Pacers are hoping to put up a better fight, but it is going to be a big challenge.

Indiana Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle (right) talks to St. John's Red Storm head coach Rick Pitino after defeating the New York Knicks in game seven of the second round of the 2024 NBA playoffs at Madison Square Garden.
© Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

There are four teams left in the NBA playoffs

After Sunday's slate that included two game sevens, we are down to just four teams in the NBA playoffs. The Pacers and the Celtics in the East, and the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Dallas Mavericks in the West. The Timberwolves just knocked off the defending champs, the Denver Nuggets, in game seven on Sunday, and they are now favored to take down the Mavericks in the Western Conference Finals.

So far, the Pacers have defeated the Milwaukee Bucks and the New York Knicks en route to the Eastern Conference Finals. Both of those teams were dealing with some injury trouble when they took on the Pacers, and Indiana took care of business to stay alive in the postseason. Now, they are four wins away from going to the NBA Finals.

The next month in the NBA is going to be exciting. Both of these conference finals series should be good ones, and it should set up for an exciting finish to the season.

Right now, the favorites to make it to the finals are the Celtics and the Timberwolves, but you never know. The only team that was expected to make it to the conference finals that did is the Celtics. That just goes to show that anything can happen in the playoffs, and you have to expect the unexpected.

Game one of the Pacers-Celtics series is taking place on Tuesday night in Boston, and the Western Conference Finals will get going on Wednesday in Minnesota.